West has defaulted on its financial obligations to Russia – Finance Minister
Western countries have failed to honor their financial obligations to Russia by imposing economic restrictions, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday during a government meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
“The West has defaulted on its financial obligations to Russia, has frozen our gold and foreign exchange reserves,” the official stated, adding that the measures sum up to a full-scale “financial and economic war” against Russia.
According to Siluanov, the US, EU and their allies are using everything within their powers to restrict foreign trade and imports, which not only damages Russia but impacts the entire global trade.
“Western countries are trying to create a shortage of everyday imported goods in our country, they are forcing the closure of successfully operating enterprises with foreign capital,” Siluanov said.
A number of foreign companies have recently announced they would be suspending operations in Russia or quitting the country’s market altogether. These include consumer goods and clothing manufacturers, financial, energy, mining and tech companies.
Given the situation Russia is in right now, Siluanov called the stabilization of the financial system a priority for the government. The minister outlined a number of steps which should be taken to do this. The measures he proposed include preventing the outflow of capital from the country and establishing a “special procedure for servicing external debts.” According to the minister, some actions have already been implemented and given the first results.
“The situation with the outflow of funds is stabilizing, cash withdrawals have practically stopped, […] the situation with the balance of payments is improving,” Siluanov noted. He added that conditions in the public sector are under control, vowing that authorities would ensure the payment of pensions, benefits and salaries, and would also monitor the availability of medication.
“Non-oil and gas revenues are expected to decline, but this is offset by an increase in oil and gas revenues,” he pointed out, noting that these revenues will be used “to reduce borrowing and public debt in the current environment, and finance priority spending.”
Siluanov also said that it is important to prevent inflation from growing. The indicator has already reached 2.2% for the week, the highest since 1998, and over 10% year-on-year.
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