ALBAWABA — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday acknowledged that sanctions imposed on his country's offensive in Ukraine could bring about "negative" consequences.
"The sanctions imposed against the Russian economy in the medium term could really have a negative impact," Putin said in a televised meeting with the government, reversing his usual insistence that Moscow was adapting to the penalties.
Since Putin started the Ukraine offensive more than a year ago, over 30 countries have imposed sanction on Russia which include price caps on Russian oils and restrictions on access to financial transactions.
Over $58 billion worth of sanctioned Russian assets have been blocked or frozen worldwide.
Putin has repeatedly said that Russia is weathering the onslaught of economic sanctions, which mainly targeted its oil and gas exports.
Russia's unemployment "remains at an all-time low," while inflation is expected to "drop below 4 percent" by the end of March after soaring in spring last year, the president said.
Putin urged the government to "act quickly and without unnecessary bureaucracy and delays".
"We need to support and strengthen the positive trends in our economy, increase its efficiency, ensure technological, personnel and financial sovereignty," Putin said.
The Russian leader added that that "the return to a growth trajectory should not make us feel relaxed", noting that the manufacturing sector was still sluggish and much more needed to be done for the Russian economy to get back on its feet again.