Ukraine’s prolongation of sanctions against Russia have caused a tumultuous Russian response in particular from Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Member Sergey Zheleznyak, who said that by expanding sanctions against Moscow Ukraine’s President was running his country’s economy into the ground.
Each irresponsible step taken by Kyiv is a strike against its impoverished people, Zhelezyak declared. Ukraine’s official Statistical Agency shows a somewhat different picture however. Ukraine’s Economy and Trade Ministry presented the country’s budget for 2017 with a projected GDP growth of 3%, 8% inflation and unemployment at less than 9%.
Ukrainian experts do not see the sanctions regime as destroying Ukraine’s economy. Instead the situation is pushing Ukraine to develop new technologies, improve the quality of Ukrainian products and search for new markets, explained former Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Lanovyi.
According to economists, Ukraine faced a difficult economic period from October 2014 through May 2015 during its gas dispute with Russia, but the situation was far from catastrophic.
Many Ukrainian businessmen feared their companies would suffer losses because of Russia sanctions. The owner of Motor Sich, a company that manufactures and services aircraft engines that had worked closely with Russia even spoke against sanctions. Motor Sich however has not suffered from the loss of its business in Russia and in 2015 its profit increased by 3.5 billion hryvnia, some 136 million dollars.