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200,000 may lose jobs in Moscow over sanctions -Mayor

Russian President Vladimir Putin while chairing a meeting on the situation in the oil and gas sector at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, on April 14, 2022.

Around 200,000 employees of foreign companies in Moscow could lose their jobs due to sanctions over Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine, the city’s mayor said on Monday.

“According to our estimates, about 200,000 people are at risk of losing their jobs,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a blog post.

He said authorities had last week approved a $41-million programme to support employment in the Russian capital.

“First of all, the programme is aimed at employees of foreign companies that have temporarily suspended their operations or decided to leave Russia,” Sobyanin noted.

Economists believe that the worst economic impact of debilitating Western sanctions is still to come and expect Russia to plunge into a deep recession.

Meanwhile, Ukraine on Monday aired a video showing Viktor Medvedchuk, a detained pro-Russia tycoon and ally of President Vladimir Putin, seeking to be exchanged in return for an evacuation of civilians and troops from the besieged port city of Mariupol.

“I want to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to exchange me for Ukrainian defenders and residents of Mariupol,” he said in the video published by Kyiv’s security services, wearing black clothes and looking directly into the camera.

Medvedchuk, who escaped from house arrest after Russia’s invasion and was detained last week, said the troops and residents there “do not have the possibility of a safe exit through humanitarian corridors”.

Medvedchuk is one of Ukraine’s richest people and is known for his close ties to Putin. He is also a politician.

He says Putin is the godfather to his youngest daughter, Darya.

Hundreds of mainly Western companies have announced the suspension of their activities or their departure from Russia after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.

Sobyanin said the newly-approved programme was expected to support more than 58,000 people who had lost their jobs, adding that around 12,500 of them would undergo retraining.

He said people in between jobs would be offered to get involved in public works in a number of city organisations, parks and elsewhere.




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