Fri, 08 Dec 2023

The country has demonstrated its economic strength and an ability to pursue independent policy on the global stage, Andrey Belousov has said

Russia's unexpected resilience in the face of the unprecedented Western sanctions pressure has caught the US and its allies off guard, the nation's first deputy prime minister, Andrey Belousov, said on Sunday. Moscow has achieved true economic sovereignty and demonstrated its ability to pursue independent policy and defend national interests despite any external pressure, he added.

"The West was shocked that Russia stood fast in the face of sanctions," he said at a major 'Russia' exhibition that opened in Moscow over the weekend. "We were foretold of a catastrophe comparable to the 1990s," he said.

Back in 1990s, Russia, which was going through a period if rapid market reforms after the collapse of the Soviet Union first suffered through a period of hyperinflation, which amounted to whopping 2,500% in 1992 and later had to go through a technical default on its obligations in 1998, which is still considered the worst economic crisis in the nation's modern history.

When Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the US and its allies slapped Russia with unprecedented economic sanctions, targeting financial systems as well as aviation and the space industry. Several Russian banks have been cut off from SWIFT while many foreign companies, ranging from luxury clothes brands to IKEA, announced they would cease their operations in the country.

The nation's GDP shrank by 2.1% last year amid the severe restrictions. However, according to President Vladimir Putin, it has completely recovered from this downturn as of October this year. In 2023, the nation's GDP was projected to expand by 2.8% despite the continued economic pressure, the Kremlin said this week.

Western financial institutions have also been noting Russia's economic rebound. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Russia's GDP to grow 2.2% in 2023, up from its April forecast of 0.7%, and July projection of 1.5%.

According to Belousov, Russia has entered a "period of strengthening sovereignty" in 2022. The deputy prime minister also said that economic sovereignty does not mean isolation. Instead, it means an ability to pursue a country's own national agenda and follow its own goals in a "changing world."

The official also named a well-established international partnership system contributing to a nation's strong position in the global economy as one of the key factors of economic sovereignty. Other factors included a strong national education and science system capable of producing its own technologies, modern infrastructure, effective government institutions, low inflation and budget deficit as well as a stable access to energy, food and raw materials.

(RT.com)

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