THE Vladimir Putin stated today that the international sanctions at the expense of Moscow because of its attack on Ukraine “may” have “negative” effects “medium term” in national economyhaving nevertheless prided himself in recent months on Russia’s adaptation to this new situation.

“The sanctions imposed on the Russian economy in the medium term can really have a negative impact on it,” the Russian president warned during a televised meeting with the government.

It is the first time that Putin has publicly admitted that the wave of international sanctions, which hit many sectors of Russian economic activity, including that of hydrocarbons, is affecting the national economy.

More than a year after the start of the attack on Ukraine, “unemployment is at its lowest level,” at 3.6 percent, and “at the end of March, inflation will fall below 4 percent,” after soaring to near 20 percent last spring, Putin said.

“But this does not mean that all the problems have already been solved,” he warned members of his government.

“Returning to a growth trajectory should not make us relax,” he said, calling for “guarantees of Russia’s economic sovereignty.”

Putin also asked the government and officials in charge of the economy to “ensure the quick start of new projects in manufacturing industries, especially in the production of high-tech products,” a sector that has been hit by the departure of many specialists abroad.

“Our financial system has to play an important role to meet the needs of exporters. And we have to replace the Western companies that were working in this sector,” he said.