Wednesday , 6 December 2023
Home Global Economy What next, Putin? The ruble rolls in, but criticism of the war rains down
Global Economy

What next, Putin? The ruble rolls in, but criticism of the war rains down

Experts disagree on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin can actually be happy that the ruble has reached a 7-year high.

Oligarch Oleg Deripaska (54) says in an interview that the Russian economy is coping better with Western sanctions than expected. He also describes the sanctions as "perishable goods".

"Colossal mistake to destroy Ukraine"

But the boss of the world's second largest aluminum company, Rusal, warns of the consequences of the ongoing Russian attacks on the neighboring country. "I'm troubled by how quickly we gave up everything we achieved (economically) in the 90's, then everything we achieved in the 2000's and now we're sitting there waiting for victory. Victory over what? Whose victory?" asks Deripaska.

"I think it would be a colossal mistake to destroy Ukraine," said the CEO, who is considered "close to the Kremlin," according to the RB news agency. There are many economic ties between Russia and Ukraine.

The entrepreneur had previously criticized the war – without actually calling it that, Deripaska still lives in Russia and was recently at the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.

"No potential for regime change" in Russia

However, Deripaska currently sees "no potential for regime change". It is not likely that oligarchs like Mikhail Fridman (58), Pjotr Aven (67) or the former Yukos boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky (59) "take up arms and break through to the Bryansk region on tanks". Bryansk is located in western Russia. Fridman and Awen are heads of Alfa-Bank, are on the Western sanctions lists, but are considered opponents of the war.

Recently there had also been rumors that Deripaska's wife or even he himself was involved in coup plans against Putin.

This Wednesday, a dollar cost 50.01 rubles, a euro 52.91 rubles. But that doesn't necessarily mean Russia's economy is doing well.

Russian imports have fallen as a result of sanctions over the war of aggression against Ukraine. This makes exports even more expensive.

Since Western sanctions, Moscow has benefited from high oil and natural gas prices. The Kremlin had also supported the currency. The Russian central bank had drastically restricted foreign exchange transactions. Individuals were not allowed to withdraw foreign currency, and companies were forced to exchange foreign currency proceeds for rubles.

Whether Moscow will take action against the soaring ruble remains to be seen.

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