The latest report from Sputnik News indicated that the European Union is losing the economic war against Russia based on the statement of Mateusz Piskorski, the head of the Polish party, Zmiana. Is Russia’s current economic situation support such conclusion?
Mateusz Piskorski, the head of the Polish party Zmiana commented that the leaders of the European Union are becoming oblivious of the economic interests of the region by following the policies of the United States against Russia.
Piskorski said, “The authorities of the European countries are now following mostly the interests of the United States as a global player and they are forgetting about their own economic interests by waging a sanctions war, an economic war against Russia.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin previously stated that Europe should reduce its dependence on the United States and chart its own direction. When asked about Putin’s statement, Piskorski replied, “Putin understood it better than most of the representatives of the European political establishment.”
Russia’s current economic situation
During the first quarter of this year, Russia’s economy declined 2.2%, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted that the country’s economy will shrink 3.8% by the end of this year.
It has been reported that Russia is terminating 110,000 government officials as the country is currently experiencing the worst economic crisis primarily due to the sanctions imposed by the West and declining oil prices. In March, data showed that 23 million Russians were living less than $169 per month.
EU extended economic sanctions against Russia
Russia’s relationship with the West deteriorated primarily due its annexation of Crimea and the escalation of the Ukraine crisis. The European Union, United Stated and its allies alleged that Russia violated Ukraine’s territorial integrity and meddling with the country’s internal affairs by providing support to the pro-Russian separatists. Russia repeatedly denied the allegations.
The leaders of the European Union extended economic sanctions against Russia following its annexation of Crimea. Economists considered the sanctions as “economic war” against Russia. Some of the sanctions included travel bans and asset freezes.
Russia stressed that the sanctions would be counterproductive. The country also responded by imposing a ban on most food products from countries that implemented sanctions against it.
Sanctions are the “wrong way to treat Russia”
In a previous interview with CNBC, VTB Bank chief executive Andrey Kostin said sanctions are the “wrong way to treat Russia.”
Kostin said, “We have quite a strong opinion on sanctions. Sanctions, in other words, an economic war against Russia. Economic war will definitely have negative implications for the Russian economy, but more than that it will have very negative implications for political dialogue and security in Europe.”
He noted that Russia’s economy was severely impacted by the sanctions, isolation from international business and the declining oil prices.