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Baltics to feel worst impact of Russia EU sanctions

Aug 05, 2014
From wire reports, VILNIUS

Baltics to feel worst impact of Russia EU sanctions
(photo: twitter)

Belarus and the Baltics will feel the worst effects of slowing Russian growth, the IMF said.

"For most European countries, Russia is not a major export market. Therefore, slower growth in Russia would probably not hurt them too much. However, for many of Russia's immediate neighbors such as Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, and the Baltics, whose exports to Russia exceed 5 percent of their respective GDP, the impact could be substantial," economists at the IMF said in a report published on the IMF blog, iMFdirect.

Many East European countries, Lithuania included, rely heavily on Russia for total energy supplies, not just natural gas, the Interfax news agency reports.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) from Russia accounts for 2%-5% of GDP in Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The report ranks Lithuania second behind Belarus in terms of overall risk faced from Russian economic weakening and the effect of sanctions imposed by Western countries.

The Russian Economic Development Ministry forecasts Russian GDP to grow 0.5% in 2014. The IMF says growth will amount to just 0.2%.

Russian GDP growth in 2013 was 1.3%.

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