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Russia withstands sanctions pressure, Putin says

By REN QI in Moscow | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-09-20 09:58

Russian President Vladimir Putin. [Photo/Agencies]

Russia has withstood the unprecedented pressure from Western sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

"Overall, it is safe to say that the stage of recovery of the Russian economy is over. We have withstood the absolutely unprecedented external pressure, the sanctions onslaught of some ruling elites in the … Western bloc … in individual countries that we call unfriendly, "Putin said during a meeting on the federal budget for 2024-26.

"Russia's GDP has reached the level of 2021, and now, it is important to create conditions for further stable and long-term development," he said.

Despite negative forecasts, Russia's GDP may grow by 2.8 percent by the end of the year, Putin said. "The GDP growth may reach 2.5 percent by the end of the year, maybe even up to 2.8 percent."

Moreover, Putin has tasked the government and the central bank with taking measures to support the national currency.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Moscow has made the decision to withdraw from the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, or BEAC, which was established in 1993 and aims to promote stability and sustainable development in the Barents region. The region comprises the northernmost parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and North-West Russia.

Activities of the council have been paralyzed since March 2022, due to the council's Western members, and Finland has not confirmed its readiness to transfer the chairmanship of the BEAC to Russia in October 2023, the ministry said.

"Under the current conditions, we are forced to announce the withdrawal of Russia from the BEAC," it said.

Also on Monday, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Berlin will send Kyiv additional ammunition, protective vehicles and mine clearance systems as part of a 400 million euros ($428 million) new aid package but has not yet made a decision on sending Taurus cruise missiles.

Additional ammunition

Pistorius said Germany would supply various additional ammunition to Ukraine, including mine rockets, and plans to send clothing and electricity and heat generators for the coming winter.

Meanwhile, Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was scheduled to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky for the first time after months of diplomatic back and forth in an attempt to bridge differences over Russia's special military operation in Ukraine.

The meeting would be held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, according to Lula's official agenda.

Besides seeking new cooperation, Ukraine plans to sue Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in the World Trade Organization over bans on Ukrainian agricultural products, Ukrainian officials said on Monday.

The appeal could be sent "in the near future", Politico quoted Ukrainian Trade Representative Taras Kachka as saying, and followed a decision by the three countries bordering Ukraine to ban imports of the country's key export commodities.

PAP news agency quoted Radoslaw Fogiel, the head of Poland's parliamentary foreign affairs commission, as saying Ukraine's decision to sue would "reverberate badly in Poland" and that Ukraine should be aware of this.

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