Sanctions to hurt Russia more in 2015: Medvedev

Russian prime minister says Western sanctions likely to go on hurting Russian economy, looking for ways to reduce effects

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Russian government has been seeking for ways to heal, as the Western sanctions and a slump in oil prices hit its energy-bound economy, dragging the country to one of the worst economic crisis in its history.

The United States and the European Union have imposed a series of sanctions on Russian individuals and businesses as a response to Moscow’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday already troubled economic times are likely to go on hurting Russian economy, if the Western sanctions proceed.

"Losses from the restrictions which were introduced are significant. We will not hide them,” said Medvedev.

“According to the estimates of some foreign experts, Russia has suffered losses of 25 billion euros in total, which is 1.5 percent of gross domestic product, and in 2015 it could increase several times."

In order to reduce the effects of the Western sanctions, Russia has been working to strengthen its trade relations with the Latin American countries.

Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez arrived in Russia on Wednesday for a two-day official visit during which the two countries would focus on a nuclear cooperation deal, according to Argentinian media.

Reports also said the Russian giant energy company Gazprom would sign a deal with Argentinian state-run energy company YPF on exploitation of shale oil and gas fields in the Latin American country’s soils.

In the meantime, Gazprom chief Alexei Miller met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Greek energy minister in the Greek capital Athens on Tuesday to reach an agreement on a transit gas pipeline through Greece to Europe.

Miller said the Greek government supported the project to create new gas transportation facilities from the border with Turkey.

“The Russian side, Gazprom, guarantees that up to 47 billion cubic metres of gas will transit through the Greek territory,” said Miller.

“There is no doubt that such volumes of transit will allow the Greek side to secure commercial credits in order to execute other projects in Greece."

TRTWorld and agencies