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U.S. Sanctions Are Proving Highly Effective in Destroying the Economy of Europe. Russia? Not So Much

June 8, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his economic cabinet yesterday, and in his opening remarks provided a cautiously optimistic report, devoid of any triumphalism. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, and Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina were there, among others. Putin said that the “dynamics in the production sector” were encouraging, with an overall 3.9% growth in industrial output in the first four months of 2022, although there has been “a substantial contraction in car manufacturing and oil refining. Several sectors, for example, the steel industry, have been warning us about a significant decline in their output volumes in the medium-term.”

He said that agriculture and construction were the strong points.

“These are vital, backbone branches of our economy, which employ millions of people, millions of specialists. The growth and strengthening of these branches are decisive for developing entire regions and territories of our country, for improving living standards for our people.”

He said unemployment was at a low 4% in April (the lowest level ever); inflation was controlled at a 17.4% annual rate in June. Putin said the minimum wage and pensions had been raised by 10% on June 1.

On the foreign front, he added, “the situation in the currency market is also stable. The strengthening of the ruble made it possible to relax requirements for exporters. This primarily applies to the reduction of the mandatory sale of currency revenues from 80 to 50%.” All of this should improve foreign trade; but he warned, “I would like to draw your attention to certain risks in this area, too,” without providing any further details.

Newsweek had a teeth-gnashing report on Putin’s remarks, in which they complained that the Russian President had presented a “rosy picture” of the economy, when everyone knows the sanctions are destroying it.

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