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Roving Periscope: Despite Western sanctions, Putin claims Russia is the 5th largest global economy

Roving Periscope: Despite Western sanctions, Putin claims Russia is the 5th largest global economy

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Virendra Pandit 

 

New Delhi: As Russia completes two years of its Ukraine invasion on February 24, and struggles with Western sanctions on multiple fronts, President Vladimir Putin has claimed his country is now the fifth-largest economy worldwide.

“Despite pressure, we are also now Europe’s largest economy,” he was quoted as saying in media reports on Friday, ahead of the presidential elections in March.

According to the media outlet TASS, he said Russia has left the entire Europe behind in terms of PPP.

“It seems that we are being strangled and pressured from every side, but still, we are the largest economy in Europe,” Putin said at a meeting with entrepreneurs active in Russia’s Far East, TASS reported.

“We left Germany behind and climbed to fifth place in the world (in terms of GDP at PPP). China, the US, India, Japan, and Russia are now the largest economies. We are number one in Europe,” he added.

The Russian President, however, underlined that his country still “needs to work harder” for the per capita indicator.

“We have left all of Europe behind in terms of purchasing power parity but as for the per capita indicator, we need to work harder. There is still work to be done.”

Since the Ukraine war began, Russia has been unable to access a substantial portion of its foreign exchange reserves held overseas and blocked by the West as a part of the sanctions for its invasion.

The Russian central bank lamented that the quickly disappearing surplus was one of the contributing factors to the ruble’s decline.

In 2023, the Russian currency had lost over 30 percent of its value, according to CNN.

In a veiled attack on the United States and other Western countries, the Kremlin had, in October 2023, said the Russian economy adapted well to the sanctions and Moscow did not fear more such actions.

“Russia has been living under a sanctions regime for quite a long time, for decades, and we have sufficiently adapted to it. So such time horizons as five to 10 years do not scare us,” Al Jazeera quoted Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying.

If anything, the sanctions have “boosted” Russia’s domestic economy and industrial production.

The Russia-Ukraine war started on February 24, 2022. The very next day, the European Union clamped wide-ranging sanctions intended to send a clear signal to Moscow that there would be severe consequences for the war.

The bloc has so far imposed 11 sanctions packages. Last week, it said it would work to shut down loopholes in the existing measures.

The European Union officials have suggested the sanctions could remain in place for years, Al Jazeera reported.

 

 

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