An extract on #kiyi
Following the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and Russia's reported involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine (denied by Russia), the United States, the EU (and some other European countries), Canada and Japan imposed sanctions on Russia's financial, energy and defence sectors. Some EU member countries were split on further sanctions, but have nominated to go down the sanctions route. This led to the decline of the Russian ruble and sparked fears of a Russian financial crisis. Russia responded with sanctions against a number of countries, including a one-year period of total ban on food imports from the European Union and the United States.
According to the Russian economic ministry in July 2014, GDP growth in the first half of 2014 was 1%. The ministry projected growth of 0.5% for 2014. The Russian economy grew by a better than expected 0.6% in 2014. As of the 2nd quarter of 2015 inflation, compared to the second quarter of 2014, was 8%; the economy had contracted by 4.6% as the economy entered recession. To balance the state budget in 2015, oil price would need to be around US$74 as opposed to US$104 for 2014. Russia used to have around US$500 billion in forex reserves, but holds US$360 billion in summer 2015 and plans to keep accumulating forex reserves for years to come, until they reach again $500 billion.
According to Herman Gref from Sberbank, the contraction of Russian economy is "not a crisis but rather a new reality" to which it has to adapt, primarily due to the low oil prices. He also presented a number of metrics demonstrating the change - the GDP has fallen by 3.7%, income - by 4.3%, salaries - by 9.3% and inflation reached 12.9%. However, during December 2015 it was reported by the Moscow Times that the number of people living at or below the poverty line, "those with monthly incomes of less than 9,662 rubles ($140)" increased by more than 2.3 million people. Russia is rated one of the most unequal of the worlds major economies.
During 2014-2015 a quarter of banks in Russia left the market, the expenses of Russian bank guarantee fund reached 1 trillion roubles plus additional government funds for recapitalisation of banks reached 1.9 trillion roubles.
At the end of 2016, the United States imposed further sanctions on the Russian Federation in response to what the US government said was Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.