NewsPutin enlists FSB to help Russian firms dodge Western sanctions

Putin enlists FSB to help Russian firms dodge Western sanctions

Putin appealed to the FSB. He wants spies to be activated.
Putin appealed to the FSB. He wants spies to be activated.

2:58 PM EDT, March 20, 2024

Vladimir Putin has reached out to officials of the Federal Security Service, urging the FSB to use its intelligence resources to assist Russian companies in circumventing Western sanctions and "expand their striking power" into new international markets.

It is essential to note that many pieces of information provided by Russian media or government representatives may be elements of propaganda. Such reports could be components of the informational war waged by the Russian Federation.

The war in Ukraine: the latest updates in our live coverage

In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the West initiated a series of sanctions aimed at crippling the Russian economy and pressure Putin into altering his strategies.

Despite these sanctions, Putin insists that the Russian economy is flourishing amidst the conflict, claiming that the production of artillery shells in Russia significantly surpasses that of the West. He has stated that the Russian economy experienced a 3.6 percent growth last year.

During his speech at the annual FSB meeting held at Lubyanka in Moscow's heart, Putin emphasized that FSB spies should collaborate with other agencies to enhance the security of the banking and financial sectors.

He called on the FSB to "support our companies that continue to thrive despite challenges and are venturing into new markets, only to face open hostility from the West."

"Yes, they pose temporary problems for us," Putin admitted, pointing out his discussions with the government regarding the impact of the sanctions on significant investments. "But, of course, everything will be achieved eventually," the Russian leader declared.

Russia may fall short of its planned budget revenue

According to a report from the British Ministry of Defense in early February, it appears unlikely that Russia will meet its budget revenue goals for 2024. The report suggests the Russian government might need to explore alternative measures to cover its planned expenses.

Contrary to Putin's claims, the Russian economy is struggling, with a contraction greater than 2 percent. The budget deficit is estimated to exceed 3 trillion rubles, accompanied by record capital outflows, declining real wages and pensions, reduced consumption, and double-digit inflation—which analysts believe realistically stands at 28 percent.

While the current situation is far from ideal for Vladimir Putin, experts acknowledge that the outcomes are much more favorable than the catastrophic collapse predicted for the Russian economy a year ago.

Source: Reuters

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