A senior Kremlin official has admitted that Western sanctions have taken their toll on Russia.
The crushing economic measures were imposed in response to orders from Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine on February 24.
According to the Interfax news agency, Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev admitted that the measures had “virtually broken” Russian logistics.
Savelyev also claimed that Russian officials were now exploring new corridors to transport goods to Asia and beyond.
The minister said: “’These sanctions that were imposed today on the Russian Federation have practically broken all the logistics in our country. We are forced to look for new logistics corridors.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, large parts of Europe implemented a ban on Russian products.
These new restrictions also prevented Russia from using its regular trade routes.
According to Daily mailthere are three key Russian ports on the Caspian Sea which could be involved in the envisaged north-south axis: the port of Olya, the port of Astrakhan and the port of Makhachkala.
Savelyev explained: “Due to the fact that we are considering this direction, of course, it is not only ports but also approaches to ports, bridges and roads, we should not have bottlenecks that would not allow us not to reorganize us.”
Since Europe essentially banned trade with Russia, its economy has become more dependent than ever on its trade with Asia – especially with India and China.
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Earlier this month, Russian state energy company Gazprom cut off supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. This week, Russia also cut off gas supplies to Finland.
It comes after the European Union confirmed its intention to ban all Russian oil purchases by the end of the year despite warnings from Russia that it would have “catastrophic consequences for the global market”.
All three countries say they have prepared for the possibility of a gas cut.
Russia is the world’s third-largest oil producer, after the United States and Saudi Arabia, but reports suggest Europe could look to gas exporters including Qatar, Nigeria and Algeria for move away from Russian supplies.