London (CNN) Outspoken Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska said that Russia may find itself without money as early as next year and needs foreign investment.
“There will be no money already next year, we need foreign investors,” he said at an economic conference in Siberia Thursday, according to remarks carried by Russia’s state-owned news agency TASS.
Billionaire statements – who He called for an end to the Moscow war In Ukraine in the early days of last year’s conflict – in contrast to the more optimistic assessment of Russia’s economic fortunes by President Vladimir Putin last week. Putin praised the resilience of the country’s economy in the face of unprecedented Western sanctions imposed last year.
Russia’s economic output contracted 2.1% last year, according to a preliminary estimate from the government. The contraction was more limited than many economists initially expected.
but Cracks are starting to appear – Russia cuts oil production this month – and Western sanctions could escalate further. In the end, Russia’s economic prospects hinge on what happens in Ukraine.
Deripaska said that foreign investors, especially from “friendly” countries, have a big role to play. He was quoted as saying that whether they come depends on whether Russia can create the right conditions and make its markets attractive.
In an effort to strip Russia of funds for its aggression, Western countries have announced more than 11,300 sanctions since the invasion in February 2022, and have frozen some $300 billion in Russia’s foreign reserves.
But China caught the Kremlin economic lifeline By purchasing Russian energy, substituting Western suppliers for machinery and base metals among other products, and providing an alternative to the US dollar.
Still, Moscow has a steep hill to climb to replace revenue lost as a result of the sanctions, not least from exports. Data released on Friday showed that EU imports from Russia fell by 51% in value between February and December last year. The bloc was one of the main trading partners For Russia before the invasion of Ukraine, where 38% of Russian exports went to the EU in 2020.
Russian government revenues fell 35% in January compared to last year, while expenditures jumped 59%, resulting in a budget deficit of about 1.761 billion rubles ($23.3 billion).
Deripaska He made his fortune in the aluminum business During the chaotic scramble for assets after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2018, he was punished by the United States, which noted that the oligarchy is “inseparable from the Russian state.” Last year, he was charged Allegedly violating US sanctions.
Forbes estimates Deripaska’s current net worth to be less than $3 billion.
Anna Chernova contributed reporting.
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