>> Global markets saw a massive sell-off this week of Russian assets, sparked by fears Moscow is locked in a never-ending cycle of sanction after sanction from Western countries. The ruble also tanked to a two-year low as the US prepares yet another round. But the Kremlin says its financial system is still stable, and the political impact in Moscow is less clear.
Reuters' Dmitry Zhdannikov is there.>> The West has been hoping that the more pressure it puts on Putin, the more heavy the sanctions become, the more the discontent among Russian political and business elite will grow, forcing Putin to sort of change his course. But that hasn't happened over the past four years.
Actually, we've seen quite the opposite. I think Putin is probably looking at the example of Iran, which has been under sanctions since 1979. If Iran was able to withstand sanctions over the past 30, 40 years, yes, their economy has weakened, but there's no reason why Russia couldn't do so.
So he's playing a very, very long term and quite stubborn game.
>> Putin's approval ratings also remain high, but it doesn't mean sanctions haven't had a tangible impact. And the next US measures may go much further. Congress is considering whether to cut off nearly all trade between the two countries and ban Russia's national airline from US airports.>> It's quite difficult to estimate the overall impact of sanctions since they were first introduced in 2014 after Russia invaded Crimea.
But I think we could certainly put the overall impact at dozens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars. And to give you just one example, the market capitalization of the biggest Russian oil company, Rosneft Stands at approximately 60, 70 billion, depending on the market situation. While a comparable peer in the United States, Exxon Mobil, its market value is $350 billion.
So a huge gap, as you can see.>> Russia's foreign ministry says it's considering retaliatory measures, but did not elaborate on what they could be.