Putin imposes special economic measures restricting imports and exports

Russia's president has taken drastic steps to try to counteract effect of western sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced several economic measures in recent days. AFP
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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a package of measures on Tuesday evening aimed at mitigating the effects of harsh western sanctions and the departure of international businesses from the country.

Mr Putin ordered restrictions on the import and export of some goods and raw materials in response to the sanctions and said details would follow about products that would be affected.

The announcement from Mr Putin follows steps taken by US President Joe Biden to ban imports of Russian oil, coal and gas.

These moves show that the ever-tightening economic situation is forcing Mr Putin introduce swift countermeasures at home.

The new actions include increased pensions and easier regulations for small and medium-sized businesses.

Russia is a major exporter of oil, gas, grain and metals, and commodity prices have surged since the invasion of Ukraine on the prospect of supply disruptions, sanctions and countermeasures. Wheat, aluminium and palladium prices climbed after the order was released.

So far, apart from limits on taking currency out of the country, Russia’s retaliatory sanctions have been vague, including the creation of an “unfriendly country” list and a threat this week to cut off natural gas supplies to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

On Wednesday, Russia gave a warning that it was working on a broad response to sanctions that would be felt in the West's most sensitive areas.

“Russia's reaction will be swift, thoughtful and sensitive for those it addresses,” Dmitry Birichevsky, the director of the foreign ministry's department for economic co-operation, was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the West's sanctions as a hostile act that had roiled global markets. He said it was unclear how far turbulence on global energy markets would go.

“You see the bacchanalia, the hostile bacchanalia, which the West has sowed — and that of course makes the situation very difficult and forces us to think seriously.”

“We see that the situation on energy markets is developing rather turbulently — and we don't know how far that turbulence will go,” Mr Peskov said.

He declined to outline the exact nature of Russia's response.

Separately, the Kremlin said Mr Putin will hold a meeting with members of his government on Thursday and the main topic will be measures to minimise the impact of sanctions on the Russian economy.

Updated: March 09, 2022, 1:16 PM
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