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As the ‘Punish Russia’ Western economies nosedive Russia is set to make a record profit for energy exports

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Punishing Russia doesn’t seem to be going so well: Despite the difficulties, the Russian economy can still exit with a brilliant trade and balance of payments. According to Bloomberg, experts expect Russia to earn almost $321 billion from energy exports in 2022, more than a third more than it did in 2021. 

The Russian economy struggled during the first month of the special operation in Ukraine, but it could still emerge with a brilliant trade and balance of payments record unless in the highly unlikely event the West commits suicide by turning off the taps to its energy exports. 

As predicted by the largest international financial research institution, the Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF), in 2022 Russia can expect a record current account surplus, which, according to the IIF, could reach $240 billion.

Russia’s largest current account surplus driver continues to look very strong. Even with sanctions in place, significant inflows of hard currency into Russia appear set to continue,’ the IIF group of economists led by Robin Brooks said in a report. 

Many of the country’s traditional buyers are also looking for other options and are choosing not to sign new contracts for supplies from Russia despite widespread condemnation of the Russian special operation in Ukraine. 

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Hydrocarbon revenues are a real lifeline for the Russian economy, helping to allay the effects of tough sanctions and prevent a balance of payments crisis. However, the combination of the depreciation of the ruble and higher oil prices in dollars will bring an additional 8.5 trillion rubles into the Russian budget this year, according to the largest consulting agency TS Lombard. As the publication concludes, Russia’s ability to sell oil and gas abroad may be the only thing keeping the economy from even more serious financial shocks. Source

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