Russia's Economic Growth In 1st Quarter Skids To 3.5%
Russia’s economic growth slowed down more than expected, Bloomberg reported on May 20, 2022, with the GDP falling to 3.5%, despite average forecasts of 3.7%, as the “initial impact of sanctions imposed following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began to show up.”
Photo Insert: Russia's economy is showing signs of being gassed consequent to the barrage of Western sanctions.
Ukrainian finance minister Serhiy Marchenko said on May 19 that Ukraine needs $5 billion per month to finance social and humanitarian projects and urged G7 finance ministers to use frozen Russian assets to rebuild Ukraine.
“Ukraine needs more active funding from our international partners,” Marchenko told Kyiv Independent. The European Parliament approved suspending import duties on Ukrainian exports to EU for one year.
To “support Ukraine’s economy,” the measures will remove import duties on Ukrainian industrial products, along with entry duties on fruit and vegetables, anti-dumping duties, and safeguard measures on steel imports for one year.
This bit of news, however, did not prevent Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba from criticizing some EU members for not acting quickly on his country’s membership to the bloc and noted it emboldened Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to attack.
“We do not need surrogates for EU candidate status that show second-class treatment of Ukraine and hurt the feelings of Ukrainians,” he wrote on Twitter.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had said earlier that there was “no shortcut on the path into the EU,” while French President Emmanuel Macron had said that “Ukraine joining the EU is not a matter of a few months or a few years.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that Russia refused to permit grain shipments from Ukraine and would not lift its Black Sea blockade which prevents Ukraine from transferring most of its grain to international markets.
Vasily Nebenzya, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, told the UN Security Council on May 19 that Western sanctions against Russia and other factors are to blame for the rise in food prices, not Russia’s war in Ukraine.