Governor of Russia’s Kaliningrad Oblast Anton Alikhanov recently suggested that Russia should ban exports via the Baltic States in retaliation for EU sanctions. He claims this would halve the Lithuanian economy. Yet Chief Economist of Luminor Bank Žygimantas Mauricas disputes these claims arguing that just 0.5% of Lithuania’s GDP would be affected.
“Lithuania’s GDP in 2021 amounted to EUR 55.4 billion, whereas Lithuania’s freight export (road, rail and sea) to Russia stood at just EUR 0.28 billion in 2021, which accounts for just 0.5% of Lithuania’s gross domestic product (GDP). The loss really would not be as great as the governor of Kaliningrad imagines,” Mauricas wrote on Facebook.
According to the economist, the statements made by Russian officials should not come as a surprise because Russian propaganda for years has been claiming that the Baltic countries are very dependent on the transit of Russian and Belarusian goods. Mauricas says these claims simply are not true and economic indicators prove this.
“Export of goods of Lithuanian origin to Russia stood at only EUR 0.37 billion in 2021, which accounted for 0.7% of GDP. Meanwhile, in spring of 2022, export of goods of Lithuanian origin to Russia decreased by around 60% and now the flow is nearly halted. Therefore, Lithuania would not suffer additional economic damage over the stopped movement of goods,” the economist said.
“Export of Lithuanian services to Russia stood at EUR 0.78 billion in 2021, which accounted for 1.4% of GDP. Therefore, Lithuania’s total export to Russia accounted for 2.1% of GDP in 2021,” Mauricas added.
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