Russia's recovery from economic recession could be complicated by sanctions announced recently by US President Donald Trump, with still greater potential of painful restrictions on investors and Russian companies seeking to raise capital in Western markets. This year, the US Treasury initiated new sanctions against Russian persons and entities for activities including the alleged poisoning in the UK of former FSB Officer Skripal and his daughter as well as Moscow's alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Soft oil prices and tight monetary and fiscal policy only exacerbated the effects of targeted sanctions by the US, EU, and Canada—later joined by Australia, Japan, and Switzerland, among others—on the Russian economy during 2014 to 2015. Among the most powerful sanctions imposed, the US joined the EU in 2014 in sectoral sanctions on Russia's financial, defense, and energy sectors, to include Russia's largest bank (Sberbank), a major arms maker and arctic (Rostec), and deepwater and shale exploration by its biggest oil companies (Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas, and Rosneft). As a countermeasure to these sanctions, in August 2014, Russia banned food imports from countries that had imposed sanctions against it.
Additional US sanctions were expected this month in response to Russia's alleged support for Syria's chemical weapons attack on civilians as well as an expansion of sanctions to include new Russian sovereign debt but neither has been implemented. Market damage from US sanctions is already measurable, however, and has the potential to grow as uncertainty takes hold in markets and among investors.
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Pressured by the western sanctions and the lower oil prices, Russian economy shows more signs of weakness. Real wages and personal incomes at the end of 2014 fell year over year for the first time since 2009. Investments continue to fall for 12 consecutive months. Russian international reserves are lower than during the global financial crisis 2008-09. Rised interest rates makes more difficult tomakecredit payments, overdues reached new historical highs. Revised forecasts for Russian GDP in 2015 are -3.0% and -2.9% (IMF and The World Bank, accordingly). Source: Short-term indicators for Russian economy, January 2015
The current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to increase by 1 billion over the next 12 years and reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to a report, which points out that growth will be mainly in developing countries, with more than half in Africa. Population of developed regions will remain largely unchanged at around 1.3 billion from now until 2050. In contrast, the 49 least developed countries are projected to double in size from around 900 million people in 2013 to 1.8 billion in 2050.
The WTO General Council meets as the Trade Policy Review Body to undertake trade policy reviews of Members under the TPRM and to consider the Director-General's regular reports on trade policy developement. The TPRB is thus open to all WTO Members. The current chair is Ms. Irene B. K. YOUNG (Hong Kong, China). Event Holder: World Trade Organization Source of data: Merchandise trade matrix, imports and exports of total all products, annual, 1995-2014, WTO statistical data sets, 1948-2014
In August, 2014, as a counter-move to the economic sanctions imposed against Russia for its annexation of Crimea and intervention to Eastern Ukraine, Russia banned food imports from 10 countries: the US, the EU, Canada, Australia, Norway, Ukraine, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The embargo ended 1 January 2018. The visualizations below highlight the trade effects of the embargo.