The ruble’s dramatic decline threatens to plunge Russia into a full-scale economic crisis. President Vladimir Putin has attempted to minimize the difficulties and deflect blame toward the West, but the problem is serious and no one is to blame but Mr. Putin himself. His efforts to destabilize Ukraine have brought painful sanctions upon Russia, reinforced its dependence on oil and isolated its economy.
Yet Russia’s crisis holds both risk and opportunity. The risk is that an economic collapse might lead the Kremlin to lash out more severely against Ukraine and the West. But there is an opportunity to be seized if the ruble’s fragility increases Russia’s readiness to de-escalate the war in Ukraine in exchange for relief on sanctions and revitalized economic ties with the West.… Seguir leyendo »