Ukraine war: Russian economy ‘degrading slowly’ due to sanctions, claims VDL

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen waves as she arrives for the official G7 summit

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Russia’s economy is “degrading slowly but surely” amid “more and more biting” sanctions, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has told Euronews.

“We see that the sanctions are more and more biting and grinding into the Russian economy. If you look at the different sectors we see that they are degrading slowly but surely because of the export controls,” the European Commission president said on the sidelines of the G7 summit.

“So updates, technologies, anything you need, the goods you need to modernise, are not going to Russia anymore.”

It comes amid the prospect that Russia might default on its foreign debt.

Von der Leyen also said that G7 countries agreed to explore a potential price cap on oil.

“The mechanism is basically, as you see the European Union is walking away from Russian oil right now. What should not happen is that Putin takes this oil, goes to the world market, prices are going up and he’s filling his war chest,” she said.

“Therefore it needs a broader alliance to say we’re willing to pay a decent price, but not a skyrocketing price… it is not only good not to fill Putin’s war chest but it’s also very important for the developing countries — the vulnerable countries — because the skyrocketing oil prices are heavily negatively impacting on them.”

Global food supplies are also expected to be central to G7 discussions amid warnings the war in Ukraine could spark a worldwide crisis. 

The UN said last month that 25 million tonnes of grain were sitting in silos in Ukraine due to “a lack of infrastructure and the blockade of ports”.

Von der Leyen called Russia’s blockade “outrageous” but offered hope about getting grain out of Ukraine.

She said that grain exports from Ukraine were increasing each month but that they remained far below what the country exported prior to the war.

“They’re using this food to blackmail all of us, and this is really atrocious. What we do is we try to help Ukraine as much as possible to get out the grain, as long as Russia is blockading, through different routes, for example, trains or roads, or even on the Danube river and this is improving,” von der Leyen said.

“To give you a few figures, in April it was 1.2 million tonnes we got out, in May already 1.7 and now in June 2.5 (million tonnes).

“So you see we’re getting better and better at helping Ukraine to export the grain but of course, it is not enough because, before the war, Ukraine was exporting around about 5 million tonnes per month, that’s where we have to get to.”

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