Sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine have brought growth to a standstill, had a “chilling effect” on investment and could force Moscow into economic isolation, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.
The international lender’s report chimed with words from Russia’s central bank governor, Elvira Nabiullina, who told a banking conference that growth was not only unsatisfactory but was putting the country in a difficult situation.
Russia has been hit by sanctions from the United States and European Union, prompting investors to pull out of a country where leaders have used the punitive measures to call for a more self-sufficient, or patriotic, course for the economy.
With the Fund keeping its growth forecast at 0.2 percent this year, and the Russian central bank’s at 0.4 percent, both undercut the Economy Ministry’s hopes that its 0.5 percent estimate would be beaten this year and come in closer to 1 percent.
“Even without the escalation (of the Ukrainian crisis), prolonged uncertainty and the resulting deterioration of confidence could lead to lower consumption, weaker investment, and greater exchange rate pressure and capital outflows than assumed under the baseline,” the IMF said in a report.
“Moreover, this risks derailing the reform agenda and a shift toward more emphasis on economic self-reliance rather than integration with the rest of the world.”
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