Putin signed an executive order giving Russia the authority to halt exports and cancel contracts to retaliate against ‘unfriendly actions’

Vladimir Putin grinning

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his government to draw up a sanctions list in 10 days.Alexei Nikolsky/Reuters

  • Putin signed an executive order allowing Russia to halt exports and cancel existing contracts.

  • He is retaliating against countries that have launched ‘unfriendly actions’ against Russia.

  • Putin has ordered his government to draw up a sanctions list in 10 days.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an executive order allowing Russia to halt exports and cancel existing contracts for people and entities on an upcoming sanctions list.

The broad directive aims “to protect the national interests of the Russian Federation in response to unfriendly actions, which contradict international law, undertaken by the US, and joined by other foreign states and international organizations,” according to a document posted on Russia’s presidential website.

The “unfriendly actions” deprived Russia, its citizens, and legal entities of their property rights, according to the document.

Putin’s order came into force on Tuesday. He has also ordered the Russian government to draw up a sanctions list over the next ten days.

Putin’s executive order came as the Russian economy is set for its biggest contraction in about three decades amid hard-hitting sanctions from the US and its allies over the war in Ukraine.

Various Russian government agencies are forecasting on-year GDP declines this year to be in the range of about 8% to more than 10%, according to Interfax, citing former finance minister Alexei Kudrin last month. Comparatively, the World Bank expects the Russian economy to contract 11.2% in 2022.

Yet despite sweeping international sanctions, Russia’s coffers appear to be holding up. The energy powerhouse avoided a historic debt default on Tuesday as an international clearinghouse processed a dollar bond payment for the country.

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