Capital flight from Russia in 2014 may reach $50 billion per quarter if harsher sanctions are imposed on the country over the Ukrainian crisis, Alexei Kudrin, a member of the Presidium of the Russian president’s Economic Council, said.
If the sanctions affect only accounts of certain individuals, enterprises, operations or products, this will be “a mild scenario”, Kudrin said at a joint meeting of the presidiums of the Unions of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region on Thursday, March 13.
He recalled that Western sanctions against Russia after the conflict with Georgia in 1998 had lasted about three to six months, and then the situation stabilized. “This may last longer now until the sides find some political solution. So we have to understand that there may be a second wave of sanctions,” Kudrin said.
“A key difference between the first and the second waves is the restrictions on currency operations carried out by our institutions in the international markets. This does not mean that operations will stop altogether and banks will have to work through correspondent accounts not at American or European banks but maybe in some other countries. We must understand that such measures were used in a number of instances. In this case, capital flight after the second wave [of sanctions] may reach 50 billion in the first and second quarters,” Kudrin said.
According to Kudrin, the government may help Russian companies, which previously borrowed from foreign banks, obtain loans in Russian banks. “It can use the reserves it has for this purpose. I am not talking about the Reserve Fund or the National Welfare Fund. There are different forms of working with lending institutions, and guarantees are one of them. This range of proposals is being worked out now and may be ready within one to three weeks,” he said.