29 July 2015, Wednesday, 3:39

IMF: Sanctions against Russia to affect Belarusian economy

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Belarus is the country that will be most affected by negative consequences of the Western sanctions and a slowdown of the Russian economy.

The opinion was expressed by experts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Interfax reports.

“For most European countries, Russia is not a major export market. Therefore, slower growth in Russia would probably not hurt them too much. However, for many of Russia’s immediate neighbors such as Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltics, whose exports to Russia exceed 5 percent of their respective GDP, the impact could be substantial,” IMF economists write on iMFdirect.

The article notes that many Eastern European countries, including Lithuania, depend much on Russian gas and other energy supplies.

Foreign direct investment from Russia is from 2 to exceeds 5 percent of GDP in such countries as Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Lithuania is ranked second after Belarus in terms of overall risk faced from a downturn of the Russian economy as a result of sanctions imposed by the West.

The Russian Economic Development Ministry forecasts Russia's GDP to grow 0.5% in 2014, while the IMF expects 0.2% growth.

Russian GDP growth was 1.3% in 2013.

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