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Russia counts economic cost of Crimea intervention

Published on Mar 30, 2014 12:28 PM

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia has started counting the cost of seizing Crimea from Ukraine to its already stuttering economy, anxiously hoping that the West will refrain from implementing a second wave of sanctions that would cause even greater damage.

Moscow, already excluded from the G8, is planning for at least economic semi-isolation from the world for the next years with President Vladimir Putin this week saying Russia should create its own credit card system.

Western sanctions have so far only imposed visa bans and asset freezes on senior officials - some close to Mr Putin - but the fear of further action hurting the wider economy is already causing damage with the stock market down 6 percent in March.

The most immediate hit has been on capital outflows which are estimated by economists and officials to have surged to US$60-70 billion (S$75.7-88 billion) for the first quarter, more than for all of 2013 combined, as investors took fright at the uncertainty.

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