Russia’s cost of living soars by more than 14%

The cost of living in Russia is surging, according to new data, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Official figures show the price of some household staples – such as sugar – have jumped by as much as 14% over the past week.

Inflation is set to keep rising in Russia where the rouble has weakened since the Ukraine assault was launched.

The value of the currency has dropped by 22% this year.

On Wednesday, Russia’s economic ministry said annual inflation had jumped 14.5% in the week ending 18 March – the highest level since late 2015.

The Federal State Statistics Service said the cost of sugar rose by as much as 37.1% in certain regions of the country and increased by an average 14%.

Sugar, which is commonly used to preserve food or make liquor, was the biggest gainer in the week, the government agency found.

Prices for onions was the second biggest riser over the week, up 13.7% nationwide and 40.4% in some areas. Meanwhile, nappies grew 4.4% more expensive. Prices for black tea rose 4% and toilet paper increased by 3%.

Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, said prices were higher because of the weaker rouble.

“The biggest culprit is imported inflation,” Mr Innes told the BBC. “Anything Russia imports is exponentially (pricier) due to the weaker rouble.”

The UK, along with the US and the European Union, have cut off a number Russian banks from financial markets in the West.

They have also prohibited dealings with Russia’s central bank, state-owned investment funds and the finance ministry.