The Economic Hardship That Putin Brought on Russia

By DAVID J. KRAMER, The Wall Street Journal

In his televised call-in marathon Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin predicted that the worst of his countrys economic troubles would be over within two years. The Russian ruble has risen more than any other currency this year, after plummeting some 40% against the dollar last year. Russias stock market has risen significantly in 2015 as well.

But Moscow is not out of the woods yet. There is still fallout from the Russian government’s mismanagement of its economy, which exacerbated the damage from the decline in oil prices and the impact of Western sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine. Many of Mr. Putin’s cronies have been squeezed by the cutoff of access to the West, but Western powers are struggling to keep all 28 European Union members on board with maintaining sanctions, and new restrictions are unlikely to be imposed against the Putin regime unless Russian forces significantly increase their attacks in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the punishment that is hitting Russians hardest is one that President Putin brought on himself last year. In retaliation for the sanctions related to Russian actions in Ukraine, Russia banned the import of food and agricultural productsfrom Europe and elsewhere.

Read more.

David J. Kramer is senior director for human rights and democracy at the McCain Institute in Washington.

Meet  |  12-48-2015
these RT guys crafted their quntsioes a little bit too much “designed for Maxxxxx”. Came across as a little too scripted. They knew what they were in for. Really, didn\'t Rory Suchet one of the RT presenters say when Max pulled the second pink handcuffs out of his pocket make, in reference to Stacy, refer to her as Max\'s girlfriend . So I guess the question arises, did Mr Suchet fluff his lines, or does Mr Suchet know something we outsiders looking in don\'t? Just wondering Very best wishes for the New Year to all the staff at RT.
Mayara  |  13-26-2015
Quick question: Someone was sanyig that all this QE money just goes into the financial system, meaning places like the derivatives markets, whatever those are exactly, or just into the act of plugging holes and the like. WB had a graphic stating much the same. Isn\'t it true that this massive amount of money can only stay locked behind these dams for so long, and that these dams breaking is the really danger now, which could lead to extreme inflation?
Samba  |  14-09-2015
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