April 30 - IMF says Russia is in recession, exacerbated by Western sanctions, as Muscovites dismiss the impact of sanctions. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Tough times ahead in Russia with the International Monetary Fund cutting its 2014 growth forecast -- pronouncing the country in recession made more uncertain by international sanctions imposed on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine. Antonio Spilimbergo of the IMF. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IMF MISSION CHIEF TO MOSCOW, ANTONIO SPILIMBERGO, SAYING: "We are now projecting 0.2 percent growth this year for Russia with a considerable downside risk." He also said Russia was in a recession. This comes as the West has slapped sanctions on some Russians and Russian businesses close to President Vladimir Putin -- a move shrugged off in Moscow. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT, VITALY, 46, SAYING: "There is a proverb that says: What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. Whatever obstacles are in our way we will overcome them. We will be stronger than America anyway. So, go forward, Russia! We will win!" (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT, LIDIA, SAYING: "I don't think it will affect our residents too seriously. But it is wrong in any case. It is wrong because, I think it is America who started all this, not Russia." The crisis in Ukraine has pushed relations between Russia and the West to their lowest level since the end of the Cold War