Siluanov: Russia Losing over $15mn a day due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Russia is suffering damages of 1 billion rubles ($15.68 million) every day as its trade with China keeps falling due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has said in an interview with RBC.

“We have recently held a conversation with the [Federal] Customs Service the losses due to decrease in trade with China amount to 1 billion rubles per day. These are the consequences of the coronavirus,” Siluanov said.

The minister also said that the consequences of the coronavirus were not likely to largely affect the Russian economy. He expressed the belief this would not prevent Russia from achieving its aim to bring the GDP growth to 1.9 percent in 2020.

“We see that global demand from China is declining, the global economy is slowing down. It all depends on how long this situation lasts. Now the epidemic has gone down, but how long the quarantine will last – the economic situation depends on it. We have already felt the decline in tourist flow – this is money, the load of hotels, transport, flights, and our air carriers are also sounding the alarm. Everyone is losing from this. It is necessary to find remedies for this virus as soon as possible,” Siluanov said.

The minister added, however, that the damages suffered by Russia from the coronavirus outbreak can be offset with other measures.

“I am sure that this will not fundamentally affect the fulfillment of those tasks on which we are all working. We have many other tools to stimulate the economy, demand, and accelerate investment. They should give a result. This factor may have a negative impact, but it is not decisive,” he said.