Sanctions failed? Russia got richer as US, Europe suffered in 2022

The number of Russian millionaires and ultra-super rich also grew in this period

NEW DELHI | Updated: 19 August, 2023 6:55 pm IST
Vladimir Putin had earlier indicated that the sanctions are benefiting Russia.

NEW DELHI: Despite sanctions and economic boycotts, the Russian economy gained more weight while the United States and Europe suffered last year as the war in Ukraine raged on.

The Russians added $600 billion wealth whereas the US and its allies in Europe lost trillions of dollars, according to a report published by the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS).

Surprisingly, the number of Russian millionaires also soared by about 56,000 to 4,08,000 during this period, as per the bank’s Global Wealth Report. The number of super-rich or the people with net-worth of more than $50 million also increased by over 4,500, reported The Business Insider.

It is noteworthy that Russian business oligarchs were specifically targeted by the Western economic sanctions that seized the assets of many super rich abroad.

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On the contrary, around a million people were no longer millionaires in the US by the end of the year 2022, the report revealed. During this period, the US economy lost $5.9 trillion while North America and Europe together shredded $10.9 trillion. However, the US still has a share of 50 per cent in the total number of millionaires in the world.

The revelations could disappoint Western policymakers who hoped to cripple the Russian economy by imposing punitive sanctions aimed at the Kremlin and people close to President Vladimir Putin.

In its report, UBS said that Russia was among a “handful of countries” which registered an upward trend in wealth creation in 2022, the year which saw Moscow launching what it calls the “special military operation” in neighbouring Ukraine.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin had earlier indicated that the sanctions are benefiting Russia rather than damaging it. He had also said that the sanctions are damaging for the West.

China is also included in the list of countries that lost the most wealth.

Experts have attributed the rise in Moscow’s wealth to the rise in energy exports. The price of a barrel of Urals crude increased by $7 in the last one year, according to a trade analysis firm.

India, Mexico and Brazil were the top importers of Russian crude in 2022.

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