Russia practically broken by Western sanctions, admits top Kremlin official

A senior Kremlin official has admitted that Western sanctions have taken their toll on Russia.

The crushing economic measures were imposed in response to Vladimir Putin’s orders to invade Ukraine on February 24.

According to the Interfax news agency, Minister of Transport Vitaly Savelyev admitted that the measures had "practically broken" Russia’s logistics.

Savelyev also claimed that Russian officials are now looking into new corridors to transport goods to Asia and beyond.

The minister said: “'Those sanctions that were imposed today on the Russian Federation have practically broken all the logistics in our country. We are forced to look for new logistics corridors.”

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, large parts of Europe have implemented a ban on Russian goods.

These new restrictions have also prevented Russia from using their regular trade routes.

According to the Daily Mail, there are three key Russian ports on the Caspian sea that could be involved in the North-South route that is being considered: the Olya port, the Astrakhan port and the Makhachkala port.

Savelyev explained: “Due to the fact that we are considering this direction, of course, these are not only ports but also approaches to ports, bridges and roads, we should not have bottlenecks that would not allow us to reorganise.”

Since Europe has essentially banned trade with Russia, its economy has become more reliant than ever on its trade with Asia – especially with the likes of India and China.

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Earlier this month Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom cut off supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. This week Russia also cut off gas supplies to Finland.

It comes after the European Union confirmed plans to ban all purchases of Russian oil by the end of the year despite warnings from Russia that this would lead to "catastrophic consequences for the global market".

All three countries claim they have been preparing for the potential of gas being cut off.

Russia is the world's third-biggest producer of oil, after the US and Saudi Arabia, but reports suggest Europe could turn to gas exporters including Qatar, Nigeria and Algeria in a move away from Russian supplies.

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