- Dmitry Rogozin said Russia could print more money to offset the impact of Western sanctions.
- The Russian space chief said inflation could be avoided by replacing frozen funds and investing in tech.
- In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the nation did not need to print money.
Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin said the nation should consider printing more money to avoid the full impact of Western sanctions.
“We could actually release our own investment money,” Rogozin said in an interview with Russia 24 TV channel, according to an Insider translation. “An equivalent amount of what has now been locked and what is now not working for our economy, we could recreate. I believe it is possible, and we — and those in charge of our finances — should seriously consider it. We could print it. We could give it to our industries for the most robust investment projects,” he added.
Earlier this year, Western nations imposed sanctions against the Central Bank of Russia, as well as over a dozen other financial institutions in the country in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. In April, Insider reported that Russian officials estimated about half of its $642 billion in reserves had been frozen by the sanctions.
In the interview, Rogozin said the sanctions were holding back key developments for Russia’s space program, including Roscosmos’ nuclear-powered “space tug,” Zeus. He proposed that the space program could receive “at least one trillion rubles” of the printed money or about $15.9 billion in US dollars, according to an Insider translation.
He said that since the printed funds would merely be replacing assets that had been frozen, Russia would be able to essentially print money without worries of unchecked inflation. Though, he said the funds should be given to “specific technology and specific industrial plants,” not just given to the people, per an Insider translation.
The Russian space chief, who has become increasingly outspoken since the war began, does not have the authority to print rubles. In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the nation did not need to print money.
“Our economy and business have all necessary resources to meet all the goals set, challenges should only mobilize us,” he said, according to a report from Reuters.
Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina has said it could take years for the country to bring inflation back from soaring levels to its 4% target. She said in April that the sanctions could cause long-term changes in the Russian economy.
Rogozin has warned in the past that the sanctions from the West could be detrimental to Russia’s space agency. The space chief has even threatened to end its cooperation with NASA on the International Space Station over the sanctions.
In April, Rogozin told Russia 24 TV channel that deliveries of computer chips to the agency had been impacted by the sanctions after US President Joe Biden said the US would cut off shipments of tech supplies to Russia. Last month, The Washington Post reported that the sanctions which cut off exports of key products like semiconductors had forced Russia to use old appliance parts to repair its military gear.
Roscosmos has been scheduled to launch Zeus on a mission to Jupiter in 2030, though Rogozin told Russia 24 TV channel the agency does not have the means to fund the project at the moment. Russia eventually hopes to build its own nuclear-powered space station using similar technology.
Rogozin is on a sanctions list for both the US and multiple European countries. In 2014, he was also sanctioned by former US President Barack Obama, who froze his assets in the US and banned him from entering the country over his involvement in the Crimean crisis.