The Washington Times: Putin has skillfully played the weak financial card

In a difficult financial situation, Russia manages to raise oil prices by mere talks and at the same time maintain a high level of production. Perhaps Moscow will be able to raise prices even higher, said the journalist Todd Wood.

In difficult economic conditions, Russian President Vladimir Putin has proved to be a “master of the big game,” wrote a columnist for The Washington Times Todd Wood. According to the journalist, this played a role economic implications of the collapse of the USSR and the 1990 crisis.

“Victory of the Soviet giant allowed its financial weakness of the lessons learned from this that Putin, seen by how it responds to the financial conditions facing the country.” - Said in the article.

First of all, she says Wood, Moscow paid off most of the public debt, and keeps it at a low level - less than 20% of GDP. Public debt of the majority of the Western powers is much higher. “Financial irresponsibility West strikes”, - said the columnist WT.

The level of foreign exchange reserves of Russia, on the contrary, increases, which enabled her to cope with the financial difficulties of recent years. Even during the current crisis, Moscow is trying to not to reduce the level of reserves, the journalist writes. However, he said that Russia did not manage to get rid of dependence on natural resources, which, in his opinion, is fraught with “the third financial collapse.”

But here Putin, according to Wood, “demonstrates sophistication in financial matters, increasing oil prices solely by negotiations and maintaining a high level of production.” Russia can not afford to reduce the production of oil and gas and risk the loss of foreign buyers, the author points out.

Todd Wood recalls that oil prices have stabilized at a level of more than $ 30 a barrel - is significantly higher than analysts predicted $ 15. “We should expect new” rumors “about the production and the reduction of” agreements “of OPEC to stabilize the market - as long as the offer on the market is reduced and prices will not rise even higher,” - he said.

“Putin is very well played weak financial card” - sums up the WT columnist.

4 March 2016

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