West's 'economic blitzkrieg' against Russia fails: Putin
Moscow, April 19 (IANS) Western countries' "economic blitzkrieg" strategy against Russia has failed, President Vladimir Putin has said at a government meeting on economic issues.
The main negative factor for the Russian economy in recent years has been Western sanctions, which were aimed at "quickly undermining the financial and economic situation in our country, provoking panic in the markets, destroying the banking system, and causing a large-scale shortage of goods in stores," Putin said on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Russia has withstood this "unprecedented pressure" as the ruble's value has returned to the level of the first half of February and the surplus in the current account of the balance of payments reached a record high of more than $58 billion in the first quarter of this year, he noted.
Meanwhile, Putin admitted that over the past month and a half, consumer prices in Russia have increased by 9.4 per cent and inflation surged to 17.5 per cent in annual terms as of April 8.
However, the sanctions in turn have hurt the US and European countries by driving up inflation and unemployment, weakening economic dynamics, reducing living standards, and devaluating savings, Putin added.