No ‘insurmountable problems’ in ruble fall: Putin downplays West’s sanctions

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President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday downplayed the weakening of the Russian ruble, as Moscow shoulders the economic fallout of its dragging offensive in Ukraine and rising inflation.

“This issue requires its own painstaking research by the central bank and the Russian government and financial authorities,” Putin said at Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

“But in general I do not think that there are any completely insurmountable problems or difficulties here,” he added.

Putin has sought to downplay the effects of unprecedented Western sanctions on Moscow’s economy since deploying his army to Ukraine last year.

The ruble has shed around 30 percent of its value against the dollar since the start of the year, as Moscow grapples with falling export revenues and higher military spending.

Russia has seen a considerable drop in revenues linked to smaller oil and gas sales — an effect of Western sanctions and EU goals to end its energy dependence on Moscow.