Western economic restrictions have deprived the Russian economy of $50 billion, but the European Union has been hit harder, losing $240 billion since 2014, according Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Other countries also felt the impact of anti-Russian sanctions, Putin said as he answered citizens’ questions during the annual Direct Line Q&A session in Moscow on Thursday.
The USA, which does not have the biggest trade turnover with Russia, has lost $17 billion due to sanctions, while Japan lost $27 billion.
Putin added that the West is unlikely to significantly change its attitude toward Russia anytime soon, so Russia must strengthen its economy to secure its “place under the sun.”
Russia has managed to benefit from Western economic pressure, according to the president, as the country started phasing out imports and replacing them with domestically made products, even in sectors in which it did not have any experience.
As an example, Putin said that prior to sanctions, Russia had never produced marine engines, but developed them out of necessity, with some even surpassing foreign analogues. The same applies to transport and power industry engineering, he added.
President Putin’s statement came just before the European Union extended economic sanctions against Russia for another year. The decision was announced on Thursday.
The USA and the EU introduced economic sanctions against Russia in 2014 after accusing Moscow of involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, a claim that has been repeatedly denied by the Kremlin.
The measures have been expanded for various unproven reasons, including Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. Each time, Moscow has responded with retaliatory measures.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2019.