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Russia Cranks Up Bootleg Economy and Offers Rare Tally of Import

  • Parallel imports may be $16 billion this year, Manturov says
  • Russia allowed gray market sales to offset shortage of imports

Russian efforts to keep up the flow of unauthorized imports are having only limited success, judging by a forecast from the industry minister, as the country tries to cope with international sanctions that have caused an exodus of foreign companies and occasional shortages since the invasion of Ukraine.

Gray market sales, also known as parallel imports, reached nearly $6.5 billion since the government allowed companies in May to bring in goods for the domestic market without gaining agreement from their manufacturers, Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov said in an interview with the Interfax news service published Monday.