Russia is resuming a program to support critical businesses, hoping to shield them from the effects of international sanctions by reviving measures first introduced in 2020 following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has triggered an unprecedented wave of economic and financial sanctions by Western and allied governments, and by international companies suspending or ending their business in Russia or with Russian companies. In a statement, the Russian government said it was proposing a “comprehensive package”, first introduced as an anti-crisis measure in 2020, to “support the economy and business in the face of external sanctions”.
The measures will include state guarantees so that companies can restructure existing loans or contract new ones, as well as subsidies.
Among the sectors that benefited from aid during the COVID-19 crisis are banking and aviation.
President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Western sanctions on Russia were akin to a declaration of war and defended the invasion of Ukraine, saying Moscow needs to protect Russians in eastern Ukraine as well as its own interests.
The war and sanctions have shattered the prospects of a commodity-dependent economy, already suffering from 9% inflation before the invasion.
The ruble, which would normally have been supported by a rise in the price of oil, Russia’s main export, has lost more than 40% of its value this year.
Taken from Reuters.