Censor.NET reports citing an EU analysis seen by The Wall Street Journal
According to the document, the hit to the EU's economy "is expected to remain contained." The commission estimated that EU sanctions will only knock 0.2 to 0.3 percentage point off the bloc's economic growth this year and next.By contrast, Russia's growth rate will be cut by 0.6 percentage point in 2014 and 1.1 percentage points in 2015, it forecast.
EU member states decided Tuesday to maintain their current sanctions, which include restrictions on trade with Russia's defense, financial, and energy sectors, after a promised review. Diplomats said there was broad consensus at a meeting of EU ambassadors that there were no grounds for easing or tightening the measures at this stage.
During the meeting, the European Commission, the bloc's executive body, also presented its overview of the impact of the measures, which were imposed in late July and early September in conjunction with the U.S. and other countries.
However, it noted that real data was limited and that it was difficult to distinguish the impact of sanctions from the hit Russia has taken from a slump in the oil price and a broader economic slowdown. The impact also excludes any hit Russia will face from sanctions imposed by the U.S. and other countries.
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The governments of Hungary, Slovakia and Cyprus have voiced concerns that the sanctions could have a significant negative impact on their domestic economies. In Germany, Europe's biggest economy, exports to Russia were 26% lower in August than a year earlier, and down 17% year-on-year in the January to August period, the Federal Statistical Office said Wednesday.
The commission said Russian countermeasures against the EU, including banning many food imports, had placed "serious pressure" on the region's farmers, the document showed.
The EU estimates capital outflows from Russia will hit $120 billion this year.
The commission said the European Bank for Reconstruction of Development estimates its pipeline of projects for Russia has fallen by up to 13 projects for Russia since June, representing around €673 million.
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"In short…the sanctions introduced in July and September are impactful on Russia and are indeed operating on the right pressure points," the document says. "Their impact is being progressively felt and will increase…in the course of 2015," the European commission states
The commission said two decisions are pending. One will establish guidelines defining the exact scope of the energy-technology sanctions, which stop high-technology sales for deep water oil exploration in the Arctic.
In addition, the commission said the European Investment Bank, the EU's financing arm, will decide whether to stop disbursing already agreed loans through the EU subsidiaries of the five sanctioned Russian banks. That would squeeze lending to small businesses in Russia.