News / Economy

Western Sanctions Begin to Ripple Through Russian Economy

A man walks past an information screen on display inside the office of the Moscow Exchange in the Russian capital Moscow, March 14, 2014.
A man walks past an information screen on display inside the office of the Moscow Exchange in the Russian capital Moscow, March 14, 2014.
VOA News
The effect of U.S. and European economic sanctions aimed at Russia's business and political elites is beginning to ripple through the country's economy.

Two American credit companies, Visa and MasterCard, blocked transactions with their cards Friday at several Moscow banks. The institutions said they were complying with U.S. law after U.S. President Barack Obama imposed new sanctions the day before to protest Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

Meanwhile, Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the introduction of sanctions undoubtedly has had a "negative" impact on international perceptions of the Russian economy. He said that could lead to Russia abandoning plans to borrow $7 billion on international financial markets this year.

Fitch, an international credit rating company, lowered its outlook for the Russian economy from stable to negative, the same assessment Standard & Poor's made on Thursday. The Russian stock market has fallen more than 10 percent this month as Moscow's dispute with Western nations over its actions in Crimea has escalated.

But some Russian business executives have downplayed the effect of the U.S. sanctions.

Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin said he is in "good company" with other close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin in being targeted by Mr. Obama's sanctions.

He wrote on his blog, "I cannot hide that I felt flattered."

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Comment Sorting
by: Intrepid from: World
March 23, 2014 10:45 PM
If the Oligarchs are so wealthy, then they do not need internationally recognized credit cards. On the other hand, it does present a problem booking travel needs without one. They should try American Express.

by: Expatriate from: Israel
March 22, 2014 10:29 AM
In my opinion, it is a great mistake and fallacy to consider Mr.Putin a leader interested in maintaining any stability and integrity of his country. He by no means depends on elections, and he had been appointed to his post by some backstage group of the former soviet nomenclature to act in its interests. At present, the complete preparedness of their parallel oligarchic economics to its independent functioning puts on the agenda just the purpose to get rid of the Russian population as a whole, since this so-called "nation" or "people" may reqire by its inalienable right to give back what was unlawfully appropriated by the elite of pillagers. That's why the forthcoming disintegration of the State RF is in effect predeterminate in any case, and they only profit by the occasion of making Russia a country at war in order to loot all that will be possible to scrounge before the planned separation of the Federation - either with secession or without. Don't take Putin's smoke-screens for his genuine intention, he is spy after all.

by: Obangala from: US
March 22, 2014 8:49 AM
Western Sanctions Begin to Ripple Through Russian Economy... which will soon cripple Europe's economy... bringing Russia and China ever more closer.

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
March 21, 2014 10:36 PM
Visa and MasterCard’s block has given an excellent warning sign for those superwealthy of Putin’s Russia who had prefered the banks owned by sanctioned personalities. Unfortunately, Mr Yakunin of Russian Railways from the list of those who plunder the country’s resourses has shown no remorse or any second thought at his wrondoings at all. They play double or nothing. Ukraine’s people with their uprising and overthrowal of the corrupt Yanukovich regime have done excellent job – they showed Russian people the way of how to liberate themselves from the similar corrupt regime of their own that stifles economy and keeps Russia in the mediaeval ages.
In Response

by: Mark from: Virginia
March 22, 2014 4:56 PM
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” -Thomas Jefferson

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