Russian sanctions have minor impact

Fears that Russian sanctions against the European Union, including Latvia, would cause catastrophic economic damage appear to have been greatly exaggerated according to figures released Friday.

Russian counter-sanctions have caused Latvia losses equivalent to just 0.25 percent of GDP, the LETA news agency reported, citing a Foreign Ministry report.

In face the decline of Russia's own economy is having a greater negative effect in damaging Latvia's economy - equivalent  to 0.6 percent of GDP. Furthermore, total exports to Russia have fallen by 20 percent.

However, Latvia's total exports continue to increase.

As reported, in February 2014 Russia occupied the Crimean peninsula, part of Ukraine. In March, Crimea was illegally annexed.

Over the past months, Russia has also been backing a bloody separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine.

In response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, the EU, the United States, and other Western countries have imposed sanctions against Russia's top officials, Kremlin associates, and Russia's financial, defense, and energy sectors.

This was followed by Russian counter-sanctions prohibiting the import of EU food products.

However, the EU has not responded in kind by banning Russian foodstuffs, as a glance at any Latvian supermarket shelf with show. 

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Economy
Economy