Russia's losses over five years of illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea estimated at over US$150 bln

00:45, 18 March 2019
Politics
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REUTERS

"Analysts at Bloomberg Economics estimate that sanctions have knocked as much as 6 percent off Russia's economy over the past five years. A study published by analyst Scott Johnson late last year found that the economy of the world's biggest energy exporter is more than 10 percent – or $150 billion – smaller compared with what might have been expected at the end of 2013," Bloomberg Economics said.

Four percentage points of that come from the drop in oil prices, but sanctions and other factors are to blame for the rest, it said.

The U.S. and European Union led a broad effort to punish Russia with sanctions.

Undeterred, Russia has kept integrating Crimea into its economy, investing billions in new power plants and building a giant bridge to the peninsula last year. Most of the costs Russia has incurred have come from the U.S. and EU penalties, which have piled up every year since the annexation, with new ones added for alleged election meddling and other actions.

Read alsoU.S., Canada introduce sanctions over Russian aggression in Ukraine, including in Kerch Strait

The economic lull has meant less money is filtering through to paychecks of ordinary Russians. Average incomes have barely budged above 30,000 rubles a month ($459) since the Crimea takeover and slump in oil prices pushed the country into an almost two-year recession. "One region where incomes have grown is Crimea as wages increase from a low base to catch up with those in Russia," Bloomberg Economics said.

"As the economic pressure takes its toll on ordinary Russians, the positive effect the annexation had on public opinion five years ago has started to wear off," it said. A poll published on Thursday by the Moscow-based Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) found that just 39 percent of Russians think the takeover did Russia more good than harm, down from 67 percent at the end of 2014.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the United States and the United Kingdom announced on the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea by Russia, that they would never recognize the takeover.

As the Kremlin's press service announced before, Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit Crimea on March 18 to attend official events on the fifth anniversary.

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