Vladimir Putin: Economic sanctions hurt West more than Russia

Russian inflation, economy "stabilizing" • Bulgarian embassy staff expelled from Moscow

 Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's oil and gas industry with representatives of Russian energy companies and officials via a video link at a residence outside Moscow, Russia April 14, 2022 (photo credit: VIA REUTERS)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting on the country's oil and gas industry with representatives of Russian energy companies and officials via a video link at a residence outside Moscow, Russia April 14, 2022
(photo credit: VIA REUTERS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Western countries had scored an own goal by imposing sanctions against Russia over Ukraine which he said had led to a "deterioration of the economy in the West."

Speaking on the state of Russia's domestic economy, Putin said that inflation was stabilizing and that retail demand in the country had normalized.

Western countries have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia's corporate and financial system since it sent troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what it calls a "special military operation."

Russia should use its budget to support the economy and liquidity in conditions of contracting lending activity even though the central bank's rate cuts will make lending cheaper, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

Speaking to top government officials by a video link, said Russia should speed up the process of using national currencies in foreign trade under the new conditions.

 A picture illustration shows U.S. Dollar and Russian Ruble banknotes in Sarajevo, March 9, 2015 (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/FILE PHOTO) A picture illustration shows U.S. Dollar and Russian Ruble banknotes in Sarajevo, March 9, 2015 (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/FILE PHOTO)

Russia's foreign ministry said on Monday that it had declared some employees of the Bulgarian embassy in Moscow "personae non grata" in retaliation for Sofia's decision to expel 10 Russian diplomats in March.

The move was announced in a brief statement that did not say how many Bulgarians were being told to leave.

International aid

Ukraine will receive a total of $500 million in aid from allies Canada and Japan in the coming days, Ukrainian prime minister Denis Shmygal announced on Monday.

The aid, which consists of $400 million from Canada and $100 million from Japan, will go towards reducing Ukraine's budget deficit.

Shmygal said on Sunday that the deficit could soon reach $5 billion due to military expenses in an interview with ABC News. Shmygal also called on the West to give financial assistance as it is "needed more than ever."