IMF Cuts Russia's 2014 Growth Forecast

The International Monetary Fund said Russia is in a recession, experiencing negative economic growth for two quarters in a row.

The IMF on Wednesday also slashed Russia's growth forecast for 2014 from 1.3 percent to 0.2 percent due to the effect of the Ukraine crisis on investment.

IMF economist Antonio Spilimbergo told reporters the decision took into account "the significant level of uncertainty" related to geopolitical tensions and sanctions.

Russia's economy contracted by about 0.5 percent in the first three months of the year, compared with the previous quarter. The IMF is forecasting one percent growth for Russia in 2015, down from its previous forecast of 2.3 percent.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has warned the economy could move into recession in the second quarter.

Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis has caused Western nations, including the United States, to impose sanctions on some Russian individuals and companies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

VOA News / May 01, 2014 08:11 KST