Russia imports drop by more than a third

MOSCOW (AP) Imports into Russia this year have fallen by more than a third as the country struggles with the low value of the ruble and a predicted recession.

The customs service says that imports in January and February 2015 were valued at $28.98 billion, down 36.9 percent on the same period of last year.

The valuation does not include imports from the Commonwealth of Independent States, an organization covering most former Soviet countries, which are counted separately and for which data for February is not yet available.

Imports have become more expensive for Russian individuals and companies because the ruble has lost almost half its value against the dollar since the start of 2014 against the backdrop of low oil prices and political turbulence.

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