Despite Putin’s claims that the West’s ‘economic blitzkrieg – EMEA TRIBUNE

Russians President Vladimir Putin (R) and Moscow' Mayor Sergey Sobyanin (L) observe the exposition at the Cosmos pavillion space industry exhibiton on April 12, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. Russians marks the Cosmonaut day on April 12 in honour of first flight in space of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961. (
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin detailed an employment plan worth $41 million in an effort to mitigate the dearth in jobs.Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images
  • Moscow’s mayor says that 200,000 Russians in the city are likely to be without work.

  • Hundreds of Western companies have distanced themselves from Russia, creating a dearth in jobs.

  • Some global firms pledged to continue paying their local workers, though it’s unclear for how long.

Moscow’s mayor said on Monday that hundreds of thousands of city residents could lose their jobs as Western companies suspend or pull their operations from Russia.

“According to our estimates, about 200,000 people are at risk of losing their jobs,” Mayor Sergei Sobyanin wrote in an official blog post.

In the post, Sobyanin said Moscow had approved an employment support program worth 3.36 billion rubles, or roughly $41 million, that would supply temporary jobs or training to those without work.

Sobyanin wrote that around 58,000 employees are expected to benefit from the program and highlighted that Russia would provide a monthly allowance for children and loans for small and medium businesses.

Sobyanin’s comments come as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny Western sanctions have impacted Russia’s economy.

“We can now confidently say that such policy (of sanctions) towards Russia has failed,” he said on Monday. “The economic blitzkrieg strategy didn’t work. Moreover, the initiators themselves couldn’t get away with the sanctions.”

More than 750 companies have publicly announced that they would cut operations in Russia to some degree since the invasion of Ukraine began, according to the Yale School of Management.

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Some companies have pledged to continue paying their Russian workers even while shuttered in the country, though it’s unclear exactly how long they plan to sustain their support.

McDonald’s, one of the first major businesses to withdraw from Russia, said that its store closures in the country cost the company $50 million a month as it keeps its roughly 62,000 local workers on payroll. Some of its locations are still open because the franchisees who own and operate those restaurants have refused to close, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Sobyanin’s post indicated that Moscow is still grappling with a long list of crises. City authorities will discuss in the next two weeks how the capital will maintain its stock of medicines without imports, and how it will keep its hospitality industry afloat, he wrote.

“There is a lot of work to be done, the results of which will appear only in a few years,” wrote Sobyanin.

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