Russia is lying about its economic strength: sanctions are working – and we need more

The signs are clear that not everything is as rosy in Putin’s Soviet-style war economy as Moscow would have us believe

President Vladimir Putin and his authoritarian regime are peddling the false narrative that the Russian economy is strong, and that its war machine is unharmed by western sanctions. This is a lie that must be rebutted. In fact, there are many signs that the Russian war economy is deteriorating. The sanctions and other measures to weaken the Russian economy are effective, but even more can be done. We must continue to increase pressure on Putin’s regime and support Ukraine.

During the Nato summit in Washington DC , western leaders reaffirmed their commitment to Ukraine’s defence. But Russia’s war against Ukraine is not only being fought by soldiers on the ground. It is also a war of information, on which the Kremlin spends an estimated $1.5bn (£1.2bn) a year, and of economic strength. Putin and his authoritarian regime want us to believe that Russia stands unmoved by sanctions and other efforts made to support Ukraine, freedom and democracy. Thus, it is extremely important that politicians, the media and economic institutions in the west do not take the information coming out of the Kremlin at face value. When taking a closer look at the signals, it becomes clear that everything is not as rosy with the Russian economy as Moscow would have us believe.

Elisabeth Svantesson, minister for finance, Sweden

Stephanie Lose, minister for economic affairs, Denmark

Mart Võrklaev, minister of finance, Estonia

Riikka Purra, minister of finance, Finland

Arvils Ašeradens, minister of finance, Latvia

Gintarė Skaistė, minister of finance, Lithuania

Eelco Heinen, minister of finance, Netherlands

Andrzej Domański, minister of finance, Poland

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