As Europe falls into recession, Russia climbs out

These days people in Russia do not have much to boast about—so they take what they can get. Social-media trolls are posting videos, intended for European audiences, showing gas stoves left on full blast for days on end. What might cost hundreds of euros in Berlin or Paris this winter costs a few roubles in Moscow. The taunting may be childish, but it hints at a deeper truth: that the economic war between Russia and the West is at a delicate moment. While Europe teeters on the brink of a deep recession, the economic situation in Russia is improving.

Western sanctions, launched in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February, have wounded Russia’s long-term economic prospects. Blocking the world’s ninth-largest economy from accessing foreign technology and expertise has cut its growth potential by as much as half, forecasts suggest. Output of oil and gas, the lifeblood of the Russian economy, is about 3% lower than it was before the invasion and may fall…

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