Russian business leaders have asked the Kremlin to consider introducing a six-day week to help the economy weather Western sanctions, according to a report by Russian media Izvestia cited by Politico. In a letter to the Minister of Labor of Russia, the Avanti Business Club said, “There remains a need for additional investment in our financial and economic system.” The group includes Russian business leaders and several members of the Russian parliament.
The authors believe that a longer workweek will not only help workers reach the targets set by President Vladimir Putin for 2023, but also increase their technological and industrial productivity while reducing their dependence on other countries. A record labor shortage exists, with employers reporting the lowest levels of labor availability since data began in 1998.
The Ukrainian War mobilized 300,000 troops and caused an exodus of the population. Meanwhile, European Union countries are currently negotiating the 11th round of sanctions against Russia after a particularly sharp drop in imports of energy supplies from Russia. The sanctions banned Russian coal in August 2022, crude oil in December 2022, and refined petroleum products in February this year. Russia has increased its reliance on trade with Asian buyers China and India in the last year to sustain its export business.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Tuesday that trade with China will reach a new record this year. Mishustin believes that total trade could reach $200 billion in 2023, surpassing the record $190 billion reached last year. “The Russian and Chinese governments have launched coordinated efforts to implement the agreement reached at the highest level,” he said, according to state news agency TASS.