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Exports to Russia take a nosedive

Swiss exports to Russia plummeted 36% last month compared to the same period last year according to the latest official statistics. But companies are refusing to panic, instead taking a long-term view of the currently volatile market. Falling oil prices, coupled with Western sanctions that are beginning to bite in Russia, have sent the rouble into freefall this week. Russia’s central bank hiked up interest rates an astonishing 6.5% to 17% on Tuesday, but it still fears the economy could shrink by up to 5% next year if oil prices stay so depressed. President Vladimir Putin held a three-hour press conference on Thursday, blaming Western interference for his country’s woes, specifically economic sanctions by the United States and the European Union over Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea earlier this year. Switzerland has imposed much milder sanctions and frozen free trade agreement talks with Russia and surrounding countries. With the rouble ... Show more

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