Putin: ‘I apologize for this’: Why Putin said sorry to Russians

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In a recent televised Q&A session, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a rare apology for the country’s escalating inflation, particularly highlighting the 40% surge in egg prices since the beginning of the year. He acknowledged this as a failure of the government’s efforts, stating, “I apologize for this, but this is a failure of the government’s work.”
Putin’s apology came during an annual end-of-year interaction with Russian media and the public.A pensioner,Irina Akopova, raised concerns about the skyrocketing costs of eggs and chicken. The price hike is partly attributed to a shortage of essential goods in Russia, exacerbated by Western trade restrictions following Russia‘s initiation of its “special military operation” against Ukraine.

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According to Rosstat, a Russian statistical agency, the price of eggs increased by 13% in October 2023 and another 15% in November 20232. This means that a dozen eggs cost about 130 rubles (about $1.8) on average in November. This is a significant increase from the average price of eggs before the war, which was about 100 rubles (about $1.4) per dozen.
According to Rabobank, a Dutch bank that monitors global egg prices, Russia exported 1.2 billion eggs in 2022, accounting for 15% of the global market. However, since the start of the war in January 2023, Russia has faced difficulties in exporting its eggs due to the sanctions imposed by the US and its allies. These sanctions have restricted the access of Russian exporters to certain markets and technologies that are essential for producing high-quality eggs.
As a result, some Russian egg farmers have resorted to buying cheaper feed from abroad or using alternative sources of protein for their hens. However, these options have not been sufficient to offset the higher costs of production and maintain their profitability. Moreover, some Russian egg farmers have faced challenges in accessing veterinary services and medicines for their animals due to the sanctions as well.
Putin admitted that despite the increased demand, production in the country had not risen. He assured that corrective measures would be taken soon. To alleviate the situation, Russia plans to reduce duties on 1.2 billion imported eggs in the first half of 2024, aiming to lower consumer costs.
However, the overall inflation rate in Russia is surging, with a 7.4% year-over-year increase reported in November, according to Rosstat data. Putin warned that inflation might climb even higher, potentially reaching 8% this year, which is double the Central Bank of Russia‘s annual inflation target of 4%.
This significant rise in prices is one of several indicators of the Russian economy’s struggles, compounded by increasing military expenditures and Western sanctions. While economists predict a challenging future for Russia, Putin has expressed optimism, claiming that the nation is on the brink of a new growth phase.



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