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1 Jan, 2024 08:38

Putin was right about economy in 2023 – ex-Austrian FM

Germany lost its 5th place in the rankings to Russia, just as the president predicted, Karin Kneissl has said
Putin was right about economy in 2023 – ex-Austrian FM

Russian President Vladimir Putin was right on the mark when he suggested last summer that his country would overtake Germany in the list of top economies by purchasing power parity (PPP) despite Western sanctions, former Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl has said.

In an interview with journalist Flavio von Witzleben on Sunday, Kneissl assessed the last year, noting that Russia had achieved strong results both on the battlefield in the fight against Ukraine, and on the economic front.

“The economic tide turned in June 2023… when at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum… Putin pointed out that Russia was 6th among the ten largest economic powers but could be about to overtake Germany,” she recalled, noting that this happened two months later. “This is an economic policy event,” the ex-minister added.

Kneissl, who moved to St. Petersburg last year to focus on her work as head of the Geopolitical Observatory for Russia’s Key Issues think tank, was referring to Putin’s plenary speech at the forum, when the president stated that he was sure Russia would retain 6th place in the list of biggest economies based on PPP.

However, he also suggested that “Russia may move further up in the rating,” citing negative trends in 5th placed Germany, including forecasts of an economic downturn, rising inflation and unemployment.

In August, Putin announced that Russia had become the 5th biggest economy in the world despite many pessimistic projections. Around the same time, the World Bank released a report saying that Russia’s GDP measured in PPP had exceeded $5 trillion in 2022, slightly surpassing Germany’s.

On the stand-off between NATO and Russia, Kneissl noted that one of the biggest events of the year was Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which started in early June but “has failed, at least to a point, according to military assessments.” Officials in Moscow have said that Kiev’s much-hyped push failed to gain any significant ground, estimating Ukrainian losses at around 160,000 since early summer.