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< Photo: A convoy of tanks and APCs driven by Russian-backed rebels rolls through the town of Stakhanov in Ukraine
By ANDREY OSTROUKH for the Wall Street Journal
MOSCOW—Russia’s economy faces the loss of as much as 9% of the inflation-adjusted value of the goods and services it produces if Western sanctions and Moscow’s retaliatory measures remain in place in the medium term, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.
The West imposed the sanctions last year in response to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its support of rebels in eastern Ukraine. The IMF said their impact on Russia’s oil-dependent economy suggests a recovery could be slower than the Kremlin’s forecast.
This year, the U.S. and European Union extended sanctions against Moscow, restricting access to global capital markets for Russian banks and companies. In response, Moscow prolonged its ban on food imports from states that sanctioned Russia.
“The external shocks, added to pre-existing structural weaknesses, are certainly weighing on Russia’s growth prospects,” Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, IMF mission chief for Russia, said in a report...........
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