As the war in Ukraine approaches its third month, efforts by Western countries to isolate Russia by imposing sanctions and cutting trade links continue to deal some damage. Moscow has now conceded it is suffering “difficulties” in its metal industry.
It put this down to negative relations with what the Kremlin has termed “unfriendly nations” – those that have imposed sanctions in response to the country’s invasion on Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, on April 20: “We are among world leaders in this industry, and our metallurgists have begun to face hostile attitudes… our companies are experiencing some difficulties.”
Reuters highlighted that while the West has imposed sanctions on wealthy individuals with shares in metal-producing companies, it has largely shied away from sanctioning the companies themselves.
It is feared this would lead to more problems at home, amid heavy criticism over the rising cost of living.
Both the UK Chancellor and Foreign Secretary have highlighted sanctions imposed on Russia will have an impact on the British people.
They insist this is worth it given the current plight of the Ukrainian people.
Putin is due to meet representatives of the metals industry today and is expected soon to announce plans to overcome Western sanctions.
Moscow has on a number of occasions expressed some surprise at the extremity of these sanctions.
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The act prevented Moscow from getting its hands on much of its money. It had the same effect on the Russian people and their money.
Despite this surprise, Putin has claimed Western attempts to shut down the Russian economy have “failed”.
He said earlier this week Europe and the US had “expected to quickly upset the financial-economic situation, provoke panic in the markets, the collapse of the banking system and shortages in stores”.
Putin added: “The strategy of the economic blitz has failed.”
This comes after analysis before the invasion was launched stressed Russia had effectively “sanction-proofed” its economy.
But in Moscow, reports suggest more and more officials are experiencing doubts about Putin’s action in Ukraine – perhaps partly as a result of sanctions imposed on their country.
This is also likely related to the increasing impression Russia is failing to achieve a number of its aims in Ukraine, though knowledge of Putin’s war plans remains limited.