The MEP of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, claims that Russia “is drowning in cash” and that the sanctions taken against it only penalize the Europeans. If Russia has resisted the sanctions better than expected, its economy has been severely affected.
Jordan Bardella, MEP for the National Rally, believes that the sanctions taken against the Russian economy are not working. “We see that the energy sanctions taken against Russia are much more painful for the French people than for Russia. Russia is drowning in cash. The trade surplus has doubled and its hydrocarbon revenues have increased by 40%,” he said on BFMTV on September 4.
The Russian economy weakened but resilient
Both elements are true: Russia’s trade surplus is reaching record levels, with more than 70 billion dollars in the second quarter, and revenues from energy exports have exploded compared to last year. But these figures are not necessarily indicative of a healthy Russian economy. The trade surplus is mostly strong because imports are falling. Other indicators are bad: GDP is down 6% according to the IMF, and even 8% according to the Russian Ministry of the Economy. The equivalent of 40% of economic activity left Russia after the sanctions, with 1,200 foreign companies leaving. It is therefore the activity linked to hydrocarbons that keeps the Russian economy afloat, which nevertheless remains more resilient than the predictions said.