"The West insists that the sanctions are not aimed against our citizens. Now, even a person far from global politics understands that their main target is the Russian people," Mishustin said during his annual report to the Lower House (the Duma).
He explained that these sanctions seek to bring down the Russian financial system so that citizens cannot use bank cards and buy products from international businesses, which the West forced to withdraw from Russian territory.
“These coercive policies seek to cause mass unemployment, reduce the living standard, and block all economic activities in our country,” Mishustin pointed out, recalling that the U.S.-backed North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) even blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines to reduce exports of Russian gas.
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"The West always stresses the inviolability and sanctity of private property. However, it currently seizes our citizens' money only because they come from Russia," he highlighted.
Last year, analysts estimated that Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) would likely fall into double digits after the economic sanctions. The descent, however, was moderate.
"It has not been easy, but we have resisted," Mishustin stated, recalling that Russia had to take initiatives, such as expanding the use of national currencies with its partners in the Eurasian Economic Union (EUE), to counter the impact of sanctions.
"Some international organizations now predict that Russia will reach higher GDP growth rates than developed countries by 2024," the Prime Minister welcomed.