According to the International Monetary Fund the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia have significantly worsened the prospects for the global economy, which has not yet recovered from the economic woes brought about by national coronavirus restrictive measures and lockdowns.
The IMF has lowered its growth forecasts and is warning of the threat of serious inflation and deep divisions in society, partly as a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The IMF has halved the growth forecast for the Croatian economy this year and doubled the expected rate of inflation. In spite of this, western leaders, including those in Brussels, have made it clear they will continue to support Ukraine. Just two days ago Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and said that Croatia strongly supported the intensification of Ukraine's EU accession.
Meanwhile, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, made a surprise visit to Kiev on Wednesday. In Brussels, the European Commission said that unannounced visit, just as with recent visits to Kiev by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, are all part of the effort to help Ukraine defend itself and to bring an end to the Russian invasion. Commission officials announced today that the EU will strengthen in political, financial and economic support to Ukraine. They also said that it would take time to see the effects of the west's sanctions against Russia.
However, another global power, China, says the sanctions are doing more collateral damage than achieving their stated goal. As such Beijing says it will continue to strengthen strategic coordination with Russia, regardless of current international relations. China's permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, warned that sanctions imposed against Russia are having a spill-over effect, and that the burden is actually being borne by developing countries: “I also want to emphasized that the arbitrary freezing of foreign exchange reserves of other countries also represents an infringement on the sovereignty of those countries, because economic codependency is being used as a weapon. This kind of practice threatens the foundations of global economic stability, and produce a new insecurity and risk in international relations. This practice needs to be abandoned as soon as possible.”
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