However, Swedbank chief economist Nerijus Mačiulis and the adviser to the president of SEB bank, Gitanas Nausėda, say that this forecast is too pessimistic because more positive trends are already visible in the Russian economy.
“In fact, most likely, the European Union will not prolong the sanctions to Russia this year and the situation will be a little bit easier. Also, we have recently seen rising oil prices. Looking at the supply factors, the reduced investments in the oil sector, the number of wells, it is likely that next year oil prices will be much higher than they are currently,” said Mačiulis.
“Russia’s significance to our economy is increasingly shrinking. Its significance has been falling rapidly, not only because of reasons dependent on us, but also because of Russia’s sanctions and the economic crisis. On the other hand, in recent years, Lithuania has made a number of decisions that successfully disconnected it from the Russia‘s economic influence so today, we can say, we are reaping the fruits of that,” said Nausėda.
The two experts said that the Russian Ministry of Economic Development provided more pessimistic economic forecasts as a strategy to prepare their public for further belt tightening.