Russia is “experiencing recession now” because of damage caused by the Ukraine crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
The fund, which cut its growth forecast for Russia, said $100bn (£59bn) would leave the country this year.
Antonio Spilimbergo, the IMF’s mission chief in Moscow, said international sanctions were damaging the economy and threatening investment.
Russia’s economy contracted in the first three months of this year.
But Mr Spilimbergo said he expected that to continue.
“If you understand by recession two quarters of negative economic growth, then Russia is experiencing recession now,” he added.
“The difficult situation and especially the uncertainty surrounding the geopolitical situation… and escalation of sanctions are weighing very negatively on the investment climate.”
The IMF cut its 2014 growth forecast for Russia to 0.2% from 1.3% and said it expected the country’s economy to grow by only 1% next year.
Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has already cut Russia’s rating to one notch above “junk” status.
And last week Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate from 7% to 7.5% in an effort to defend the value of the rouble, which has lost more than 8% against the dollar so far this year.
via BBC 
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