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10 Dec, 2023 09:22

Western sanctions on Russia have failed – liberal party founder

In the last two years, Russian export revenue has seen unprecedented growth, Grigory Yavlinsky has said
Western sanctions on Russia have failed – liberal party founder

Russian income from oil sales is booming despite sanctions imposed by the West, Grigory Yavlinsky, the founder of Russia’s largest liberal political party, Yabloko, has said.

At a two-day party congress on Saturday, Yavlinsky argued that “the sanctions placed against Russia have not worked because Russia is a part of the global economy and a large amount of petrodollars continue to circulate in the economy.” 

“In 2022, Russia earned $590 billion in export revenue, which is $160 billion higher than any given year in the last decade,” he noted.

Yavlinksy added that despite all the scaremongering from the opposition last year, the “reality is different.” By the end of the year, he claimed, Russia’s revenue is expected to be $60 billion higher than average.

“The federal budget increased by 26% in 2022 and will grow another 16% this year,” the politician continued, saying that 40% of the income is directed towards defense and security. 

According to Yavlinsky, there will be no “acute crisis” in the Russian economy, and people will continue their lives as usual. 

Since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February of last year, the US and the EU have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia, targeting numerous sectors, including oil and gas. One of the measures to weaken the economy was the G7’s decision to place a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil. 

However, several Western officials and media outlets have acknowledged that the price cap has “largely failed,” as Moscow consistently sells its crude for more than the $60-a-barrel limit, with oil exports yielding more revenue than before the Ukraine conflict.

Yabloko, established by Yavlinksy and his associates in 1993, was represented by a faction in the State Duma until 2003 and by individual deputies until 2007. However, since then, the social-liberal party has been unable to win seats in the Russian parliament.

Yavlinksy was the official head of the party until 2008 and remains its most recognizable figure. He participated in three presidential elections: 1996, 2000, and 2018. In October, the 71-year-old suggested he could run again in 2024 if 10 million signatures could be gathered to support his candidacy.

In February, Yavlinsky wrote an article entitled “Stop,” in which he called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, arguing that the continuation of the hostilities could lead to further escalation and “unsolvable” economic problems. Military victory in Ukraine is unachievable for any side, he argued. Yabloko says on its website that the article reflects the party’s stance on the conflict.