Sanctions caused Russia, EU to lose tens of billions of dollars

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Moscow, Dec 10 (IANS/EFE) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev Wednesday admitted that Western sanctions have caused Russia lose tens of billions of dollars, while noting that the European Union (EU) has sustained significant losses as well.

“Our economy, probably, has lost tens of billions of dollars,” Medvedev said in a televised interview with journalists from five different channels.

Medvedev said that sanctions imposed by the US and the EU in retaliation for after Crimea acceded to Russia and support for separatist rebels in the eastern Ukraine has hurt both Russia and those who imposed them.

“According to calculations by Russian economists, the European economy lost 40 billion euros (almost $50 billion) this year and is likely to lose 50 billion euros ($62 billion) in 2015,” Medvedev said.

The Russian leader admitted that the ruble has weakened as a result of plunging world oil price, but predicted that results for the current year will be positive.

“There will be annual GDP growth, which is important when compared with other countries,” he said, pointing out that inflation might exceed 9 percent this year.

The ministry of finance has said it expected the Russian economy to slow by 0.8 percent next year if sanctions remained in place and oil prices continued to fall.