Russia Doing Better Than Expected Despite Sanctions: IMF

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Despite damaging Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s economy appears to be weathering the storm better than expected as it benefits from high energy prices, the IMF said Tuesday.

The sanctions were meant to sever Russia from the global financial system and choke off funds available to Moscow to finance the war.

But the International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook upgraded Russia’s GDP estimate for this year by a remarkable 2.5 percentage points, although its economy is still expected to contract by six percent.

“That’s still a fairly sizable recession in Russia in 2022,” IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas told AFP in an interview.

A key reason that the downturn was not as bad as expected was that “the Russian central bank and the Russian policymakers have been able to stave off a banking panic or financial meltdown when the sanctions were first imposed,” he said.

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