Beaten by Sanctions, Putin Claims Russia’s Economy Grows in New Ways – President Vladimir Putin claims that the Russian economy is developing in a new way, amid the onslaught of Western sanctions. Speaking at the congress of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Russia (RUIE) in Moscow on Thursday (16/3), Putin thanked employers, companies and workers for their contribution to the development of the country.

Putin noted that the RUIE is actively involved in the national agenda and has its own views, opinions and proposals, which is especially important at a time when the Russian economy is starting to develop according to a new model in response to sanctions.

He said Russia experienced a maximum reduction in gross domestic product (GDP) of 4.7 percent in June 2022.

“The reasons are well known, namely the war of sanctions and the unprecedented challenges in the global economy and trade and in the system of international relations as a whole,” Putin said.

He also stressed that it was not Russia that created this problem. “This is a challenge neither Russia nor any other country in the world has faced in modern history,” Putin said

Putin noted that Russia knows people who advise Moscow’s punishers on sanctions. He was referring to tycoons who made their fortunes in Russia but later left the country and now live in the West.

“We know there are people who are advising our enemies on how and where to hit us harder. However, those who have lived here and actually worked proved to be smarter, stronger and more effective than those who went and gave such advice to our enemies,” Putin told Russian businessmen.

Since the most difficult period, the Russian economy has turned towards growth. Factors driving this improvement, said Putin, include the expansion of foreign trade, increased domestic demand, and a reduction in inflation which is expected to reach 4-5 percent in March.

He also explained that overall, Russia’s foreign trade in 2022 jumped 8.1 percent to USD 850 billion (around Rp. 13,045.8 trillion), including exports of nearly 20 percent and imports fell by almost 12 percent. Russia also recorded a trade balance surplus of USD 332 billion (around Rp. 5,095.5 trillion) or 70 percent higher than in 2021.

On forecasts of poor harvests in the West due to drought, Putin said that in the absence of sanctions against Russian fertilizers, European farmers could use them to increase their yields. Putin also said that the departure of Western companies opened up possibilities for Russian business and he called on entrepreneurs to take advantage of these opportunities

Putin added that for economic growth it is necessary to build production facilities, open new businesses, and create jobs throughout the country. “I am acutely aware of the emerging threat. I know what the enemies are telling us, that Russia will face problems in the medium term,” Putin said

Putin said that in order to avoid a negative scenario, logistical, financial, infrastructure and technological issues need to be addressed. He also offered to award annual awards to the most responsible domestic companies and make public announcements on ways for companies to contribute to the development of their sector.