As President Vladimir Putin convened with officials to address the economic chaos of the five-day-old war, a defiant Russia insisted Monday it could withstand Western sanctions over its invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
“The Western sanctions on Russia are tough, but our country has the necessary capacity to compensate for the damage,” Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, told media.
“Today Putin will work on economic issues” and meet with important ministries, he added.
“To put it this way, the economic reality has dramatically changed,” he said, adding that Russia had taken steps to prepare for it.
“Russia has been systematically preparing for prospective sanctions for a long time, including the most severe penalties that we are now facing,” he said.
The ruble has plummeted as a result of the harsh financial sanctions imposed by the West, with the Russian currency down 20% versus the dollar in lunchtime trading.
To keep the economy afloat, the Russian central bank increased its primary interest rate to 20%.
Meanwhile, Moscow’s stock exchange remained closed for the day.
The sanctions aimed at Russia’s financial sector are meant to shift the Kremlin’s calculations, but on the ground, the estimated 100,000 Russian forces in Ukraine have resumed their assault from the north, east, and south.
On Thursday, Russia invaded Ukraine, sending shockwaves around the world.
Ukraine military are resisting the Russian advance, backed by Western weapons, a day after Putin ordered the country’s nuclear forces to be placed on high alert.
“I don’t think now is the time to talk about the results of the operation or its efficacy,” Peskov said when asked if the Kremlin and Russia’s military leaders were satisfied with the offensive so far. You must wait for it to be completed.”