Will the Financial Crisis Take Russia by Surprise?

The global financial crisis is at the top of world community’s agenda today. Economic experts, politicians and people without financial literacy discuss it. There are a lot of anecdotes about crisis in the Internet. People are concerned about it, experts are analyzing it, but there is no clear forecast of the way the crisis will affect economic situation in Russia and ruble stability.

It was not long ago when the country managed to shake off the effects of the economic crisis in 2008-2009. Now in 2012 we observe its second wave. The first one resulted in the devaluation of Russian national currency. Particularly, Central Bank pushed the value of the ruble downwards and provoked the price growth. Step by the step the Bank’s authorities reduced the value of the ruble making possible to keep the situation under their control. They gave enough time for people to exchange and so prevented the ruble from collapse. Thus Russians could secure their funds by transferring them into another currency. Tight attachment to oil prices makes Russia vulnerable in case of insecure global financial condition. Since the first wave of financial meltdown came unexpectedly, the second one was quite anticipated as a lot of countries kept a watchful eye on their financial security after having a bad experience. Eurozone has been among the hardest hit by the global economic crisis in 2012. It resulted in debt growth, higher unemployment rate and unresolved situation with Greece. European officials have not found a solution to the financial crisis yet. But attempts to work out policy tools in response to the recession will enable to feel the pulse of current economic condition. How can it influence Russia? The only signs we can observe today are lower oil prices, which keep falling despite the ruble rescue measures of the Central Bank. But if oil prices continue to decline, CBR’s funds will soon exhaust. It would lead to severe inflation with its high food prices and currency collapse.

While Russia takes efforts to regulate oil and raw material prices, it remains vulnerable from global economy policy’s fluctuations. The fact is Russia is not the world’s importer of industrial products. It makes the country dependant from Europe and the United States. The country’s budget is directly related to foreign demand for oil. So now experts can say nothing but agree that financial crisis will remain through 2013. Only time will tell whether we will face default.