First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

Kremlin says sanctions will cause Moscow problems but t...

Newsdeck

RUSSIA

Kremlin says sanctions will cause Moscow problems but they can be solved

epa09781644 Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with Russian businessmen at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, 24 February 2022. In the early hours of 24 February, President Putin announced his decision to launch a special military operation on Ukraine. Against this background, the Russian Ruble weakened against the US dollar and the euro to a six-year low, the Russian stock market fell by 11 percent, trading on the Moscow and St. Petersburg stock exchanges were suspended. The prices of oil and precious metals are rising on world markets. EPA-EFE/ALEKSEY NIKOLSKYI/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN / POOL
By Reuters
25 Feb 2022 0

MOSCOW, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Friday that Western sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine would cause problems for Moscow, but not insurmountable ones, with Russia set to widen its trade and economic ties with Asian countries.

Missiles pounded the Ukrainian capital on Friday as Russian forces pressed their advance and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy pleaded with the international community to do more, saying sanctions announced so far were not enough. 

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on possible punitive measures against President Vladimir Putin himself.

He said that Russia had deliberately reduced its dependence on foreign imports to protect itself against sanctions.

The main goal…was to ensure complete self-sufficiency and complete import substitution if necessary,” said Peskov. “To a large extent this goal has been achieved.”

Undoubtedly there will be problems, but they will not be insurmountable.”

The economy ministry said Russia had lived with sanctions for a long time and said it would be stepping up trade and economic ties with Asia to counter the threat emanating from the West.

“We understand that the sanctions pressure we have faced since 2014 will now intensify,” the ministry said, referring to measures imposed after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.

“The rhetoric of some of our foreign colleagues was such that we have been ready for potential new sanctions for a long time.”

Citi analysts did not share Moscow’s optimism, but acknowledged that Russia has strong fundamentals and the sanctions so far do not directly target all-important energy flows.

“Sanctions could have a very significant impact,” the bank said in a note, warning of contagion in wider markets.

“Fundamentals seem too strong to short Russian assets, but risks from further sanctions make it much too risky to consider long positions.”

(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; additional reporting by Marc Jones in London; Writing by Alexander Marrow; editing by Tom Balmforth and Mark Trevelyan)

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

No Comments, yet

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted