Time is running out for Russia, German economy minister says
June 2, 2022
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany must work harder to reduce its energy-dependence on Russia but Western sanctions in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine are still taking a heavy toll on the Russian war machine, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Thursday.
“The Russian economy is collapsing,” Habeck told lawmakers, adding that Germany had played its part here by reducing exports to Russia in March by 60%, with an even sharper fall expected in April.
Across the allied countries participating in the sanctions, exports to Russia fell by 53% over previous months, while the drop among neutral or pro-Russian states was 45%, according to the minister.
“Putin is still getting money but … time is not working for Russia, it is working against Russia,” he said.
As a result of the sanctions, Moscow had lost access to parts crucial to its ability to fight the war, Habeck said, such as “security updates for airplanes, with the result that the planes will soon be grounded”.
(Reporting by Rachel More; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Maria Sheahan)Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting.
Sanctions Will Break Russia’s Economy in the End, Germany Says
Iain Rogers – June 2, 2022
(Bloomberg) — Russia’s economy has been dealt a severe blow by international sanctions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine and that damage will become increasingly clear, according to Germany’s vice chancellor.
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The revenue Russia receives from commodities like oil and gas is “painful,” Robert Habeck, who is also the economy minister, said Thursday in a speech to parliament. But that doesn’t accurately reflect the pressure President Vladimir Putin is under because the country can “barely spend any of it,” he said.
Habeck said that a shortage of software security updates for aircraft will soon lead to planes being grounded while a lack of high-tech equipment will “lead to production processes being destroyed.”
“He can’t keep going much longer,” Habeck told lawmakers in the Bundestag in Berlin. “Time is not working in favor of Russia, it’s working against Russia, it’s working against the Russian economy.”
Even with Germany and other countries halting or phasing out Russian energy imports, Moscow’s oil-and-gas revenue will be about $285 billion this year, up by more than a fifth compared with 2021, according to estimates from Bloomberg Economics based on Economy Ministry projections. Including other commodities, it more than makes up for the $300 billion in foreign reserves frozen by sanctions.
With the war in Ukraine now into a fourth month, there is little evidence that sanctions are forcing Putin to abandon his military campaign.
“We’re not doing this for fun,” Habeck told lawmakers. “We’re doing it to hurt Putin’s economy and make our economic policy contribution to bringing an end to this war at some point. We’re looking to cut the Russian economy to the quick.”
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