EU businesses have lost at least €250 billion ($266.6 billion) due to the sweeping sanctions imposed on Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Wednesday.
According to the top diplomat, these are “very conservative estimates” of the damage that the West has inflicted on its own businesses over the past year-and-a-half by introducing unilateral sanctions.
Russia-EU trade turnover totaled $200 billion in 2022 and is expected to drop to less than $100 billion by the end of 2023, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The latest ministry estimates show that mutual trade between Russia and EU member states, which totaled $417 billion in 2013, could have reached $700 billion this year were it not for the sanctions.
Speaking at a Ukraine-related meeting with the heads of diplomatic missions in Moscow, Lavrov said that, while the EU shows no sign of reversing its policies, Russia is creating independent trade mechanisms.
“We understand perfectly well that the sanctions imposed against us will not go away in the foreseeable future, and even in the longer term. We don’t need this, not because we choose isolationism or self-sufficiency. The West decided to destroy the world economy for the sake of teaching Russia a lesson,” he said.