Analysis

Putin Insulates Russia With Plan for Financial Self-Sufficiency
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Seoul, South Korea, in November 2013. On April 8, the Russian government urged Russian corporations to delist their shares from stock exchanges in New York and London, citing Russia’s need for economic security. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
April 10, 2014
| Economics
| Russia and Central Asia
Summary
While media reports focus on Vladimir Putin’s next military move in Ukraine, the Russian president is deftly making economic changes to cushion the blow of international sanctions. He is also slowly pulling Russia away from the international financial system to promote greater economic self-sufficiency. Putin’s supporters, now estimated to represent about 80 percent of Russia’s population, do not worry about sanctions as long as Russian flags are flying in Ukraine.
Russia’s adventures in Eastern Europe could be masking Putin’s main strategic vision, which is to create an economy that is less dependent on the West by using financial Cold War tactics. Moscow has encouraged Russian firms to delist shares from foreign stock exchanges, establish a Russian payment system to foil Visa and MasterCard, sell oil and gas in rubles, and create a Russian national debt rating agency.
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