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Sanctions are working – whatever Putin says

Don’t believe Vladimir Putin’s hype. The Russian economy is not OK. With western sanctions jeopardising up to 40 per cent of the country’s GDP, Putin’s assurances of an economic pivot to the East are a sham. And his weaponising of gas supplies to Europe is the financial equivalent of
strapping on a suicide vest.

That, roughly, is the message of a major new study published last week by the Yale School of Management about the impact of sanctions on Russia. Yale, working with a team of international economists, has looked past a wall of Russian obfuscation and used real-world data from retailers, energy traders and investors to reveal a picture very different from the rosy image presented by Putin at the St Petersburg Economic Forum in June. ‘The economic blitzkrieg against Russia never had any chances of success,’ he told an audience that included a delegation from the Taliban. ‘Like our ancestors, we will solve any problem; the…

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