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Chronicle of world’s economic war against Russia: New as of March 25

Passengers of the Moscow-Kaliningrad train see such posters when it stops in Vilnius

Passengers of the Moscow-Kaliningrad train see such posters when it stops in Vilnius

After the attack on Ukraine, Russia faced economic problems and sanctions from many countries and international organizations. In Russia itself, the authorities call it an economic war. The Page has prepared a selection of the latest reports on March 25.

Economy

The head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen opposed the purchase of gas for rubles. Putin has threatened to impose such a rule against countries that have imposeв sanctions on Russia. "Such a decision would be unilateral, which is a violation of the terms of the contracts. This is actually an attempt to circumvent the sanctions. We did not impose sanctions to circumvent them. The days when energy could be used for blackmail are gone, "said von der Leyen.

Berlin expects to reduce dependence on Russian gas by 30% by the end of this year. By mid-2024, the share of Russian gas supplies to Germany should fall to 10%.

From June 6, AvtoVAZ will introduce a four-day working week for three months. The measure applies to all employees. The decision is related to the shortage of electronic components. The company previously said it was postponing 2022 Summer Corporate Vacation to April 4-24 to resume component supply chains. The company is working to replace critical imported components, and is developing special versions of some LADA models that are "less susceptible to the effects of imported" components.

The Russian government intends to refuse to finance the project of the high-speed highway from Moscow to St. Petersburg from the National Welfare Fund. At the end of 2021, the project was in force. 500 billion rubles were reserved for it.

The American biopharmaceutical company Gilead has stated that it has stopped all business operations not related to vital drugs. Income from the sale of medicines will be donated to humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The Gaidar Institute has published an index of forecasts in the industry, based on a survey of company executives in the sector. The indicator showed the maximum collapse since the beginning of such surveys in 1995. The consolidated index of industrial forecasts for the first month of the "military operation" lost 50 points at once. In 1998, its decrease was 25 points in ten months, in 2008-2009 — 30 points (in five months), in 2014-2015 — 10 points (in five months).

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Russian timber producers are asking the state for additional support measures, including a return to paperwork in the country. The industry also considers to organize new export routes as a critically important measure.

Large technology company Teradata is closing its business in Russia. It also ceases to interact with customers and service all Russian accounts.

Russian Severstal, owned by Alexei Mordashov, which has appeared under EU and British sanctions, has failed to pay its Eurobond debt to investors due to a bank blockade. Thus, the company became the first in Russia, which since the imposition of sanctions for the war in Ukraine has allowed a technical default on its securities.

Chinese state-owned concern Sinopec has suspended negotiations with Sibur on a $ 500 million investment in a new gas chemical plant in Russia.

Sanctions

A Foreign Ministry of Japan has announced new sanctions against Russia. Restrictions were imposed on 25 Russian citizens and 81 organization. Among other things, the export of luxury items is prohibited. Igor Shuvalov, the chairman of WEB.RF, Alexei Mordashov, the general director of Severstal, Nikolai Shamalov, a shareholder of Russia Bank, and members of their families were subjected to personal sanctions. The list also includes relatives of other Russians, including presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, First Deputy Chief of Administration Sergei Kiriyenko, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, businessmen Arkady and Boris Rotenberg (Putin's friends).

Switzerland has frozen $ 6.17 billion in Russian assets subject to sanctions. According to the authorities, this amount may increase over time.

The US Treasury Department has issued a number of general licenses for sanctions (actually easing or suspending them) against Russia. Thus, the introduction of a ban on the import of seafood from March 25 to June 23 has been postponed.

The Australian Foreign Ministry has announced new sanctions against Russia and Belarus. They apply to Lukashenko and his family, as well as to 22 "Russian propagandists and disinformation distributors": RT employees, the Strategic Culture Foundation, InfoRos and the News Front. Australia has imposed a total of about 500 sanctions against Russia.

The US Treasury Department has issued a harsh explanation for the sanctions — in fact, gold in Russia's reserves ($ 132 billion) is becoming very illiquid. U.S. citizens are prohibited from any gold-related transactions if they are a party to the Bank of Russia, the National Welfare Fund, or the Russian Treasury. US financial institutions are prohibited from processing such transactions.

Billionaire Petr Aven, who has come under EU and UK sanctions, gave an interview to the Financial Times. He admitted that his life changed overnight: "Our business is completely destroyed. Everything we built for 30 years is now completely in ruins."

Society

Finnish VR Railways has announced that it will suspend the Allegro high-speed train between Helsinki and St. Petersburg from March 28 for an indefinite period.

Russian airlines have warned the authorities about the risks of suspending flights on An-24 and An-26 regional aircraft after five or six months due to problems with repairing Ukrainian-made turboprop engines. There are now about 100 An-24/26 aircraft in Russia, 87 of which are owned by 12 commercial airlines. The planes are used in 10 remote regions.

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