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Russia May Increase Its Energy Exports to $321 Billion Despite Sanctions, Report Says

© REUTERS / Sergei KarpukhinA worker at an oil field owned by Bashneft, Bashkortostan, Russia. (File)
A worker at an oil field owned by Bashneft, Bashkortostan, Russia. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.04.2022
The US and its allies have imposed a series of strict comprehensive sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine that has been under way since 24 February.
Despite the negative impact of Western sanctions, the Russian economy may "emerge with a sparkling balance sheet if some of its biggest trade partners don't turn off the tap on its exports of energy", Bloomberg has reported.

The news agency suggested that Russia might "earn nearly $321 billion from [its] energy exports" before the end of this year, a surge of more than a third when compared to 2021.

Bloomberg also cited economists from the global trade association, the Institute of International Finance, as saying that Russia is also on track for a record current-account surplus that may reach a whopping $240 billion.

"The single biggest driver of Russia's current account surplus continues to look solid. With current sanctions in place, substantial inflows of hard currency into Russia look set to continue", the economists argued.

Their forecasts come as the US and some of its European partners continue to struggle with soaring energy costs, fuel bills, and food prices. As an example, inflation in the UK has hit a 30-year high as British consumer prices rose 6.2% from February 2021. In the US, the consumer price index has soared by 7.9%, which is a 40-year-high, according to the Labour Department.

"We did talk about food shortages. And it's going to be real. The price of these [anti-Russian] sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia, it's imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well", US President Joe Biden told reporters last week.

In a separate development in late March, the price of natural gas in Europe exceeded $1,350 per 1,000 cubic metres in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that Moscow will start selling gas to "unfriendly countries" in rubles.
Putin stressed at the time that "it is absolutely clear" that delivering Russian goods to the EU and the US, "and receiving payment in dollars, euros, and a number of other currencies does not make any sense for us".
He added that by freezing Russian assets, the US and Western countries declared a default on Russia and drew a line under the reliability of their currencies.

US, Allies Slap Sanctions on Russia Over Its Special Op in Ukraine

Washington and its allies have introduced full-fledged sanctions on Russia over its ongoing special military operation in Ukraine, despite Moscow having repeatedly stressed that it has no plans to occupy the territory of its immediate neighbour and that the Russian armed forces are only targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure with high-precision weapons.
As part of the sanctions, Biden announced a total ban on energy imports from Russia in early March, with the UK following suit and pledging to phase out imports of Russian oil and coal products by the end of 2022. The European Commission, in turn, rolled out a plan to reduce reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds before Christmas, and abolish Russian fossil fuel, such as coal and oil, by 2030.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, for his part, said that his country had been working with EU partners "at full speed" to find alternatives to Russian energy, but warned this process could not be done "overnight".
He pledged to end dependence on Russian energy as quickly as possible, cautioning that "to do this in one day would plunge" Germany "and the whole of Europe into a recession". According to the chancellor, "hundreds of thousands of jobs and entire branches of industry would be at risk".
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