The International Monetary Fund warned Thursday that recent economic sanctions imposed against Russia could have a severe impact that would ripple through the region.
“On a regional level, there’s bound to be some impact,” especially through trade channels, IMF spokesman William Murray said at a news conference.
Murray said the impact was expected to be felt in economies “that have very active and direct trade links with Russia, particularly in eastern and central Europe and central Asia.”
The IMF spokesman highlighted that recent sanctions against Russia, “especially those that have imposed by the United States,” signalled a step-up of geopolitical tensions and “could have a significant adverse impact on the Russia economy.”
The European Union is supposed to decide Thursday whether to expand its sanctions against Russia for its alleged role in backing separatist fighting in Ukraine and after the shooting down of a Malaysian jetliner over Ukraine last week.
On July 16, the day before the deadly crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, the United States expanded its sanctions against Russia, targeting Russian energy, defense and financial firms to punish what it says are violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty.