The Kremlin said on Thursday that Russia’s economy was experiencing a shock and that measures were being taken to soften the impact of what it described as an “absolutely unprecedented” economic war being waged against Moscow.
“Our economy is experiencing a shock impact now and there are negative consequences, they will be minimized,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call, according to Reuters.
While describing the situation in Russia as being “turbulent,” Peskov added, “You see the bacchanalia, the hostile bacchanalia, which the West has sown – and that, of course, makes the situation very difficult and forces us to think seriously.”
Peskov declined to say what measures will be taken to soften the blow to Russia’s economy, and would not discuss any retaliatory measures Putin might decide to use. “The United States definitely has declared economic war against Russia and is waging this war,” he said.
The far-reaching effects of the sanctions
Along with the recently announced ban on Russian oil, the U.S. has imposed harsh economic sanctions on many aspects of Russia’s economy, including nearly all of the country’s financial and corporate systems.
The West has also sanctioned at least 26 high-profile politicians and oligarchs, seizing yachts, homes, and other assets worth billions of dollars.
Sanctions are nothing new to Russia, as the country has been living with them since 2014 when Putin invaded Crimea. But the sanctions imposed with the invasion of Ukraine are far more severe.
This time, the sanctions are not only devastating Russia’s economy but also isolating its citizens from travel and even from Western brands like Apple and McDonald’s, reports the New York Times.
In many ways, this invasion of Ukraine by Putin has become a contest of economic and political endurance against the West, or simply a dangerous game of “who will blink first.”
One advantage the rest of the world has is that the invasion has created a unifying fervor encompassing the West, Europe, and many Asian countries.
And as the New York Times notes: “The West’s greatest ally in maintaining unity may be Mr. Putin himself. By massing forces on NATO’s borders and producing shocking images of destruction in Ukraine, he has given Europeans something to rally against, distracting from their disagreements, for now.”