Awaiting crisis: Amid the unprecedented crisis that erupted following the escalation of the brutal war against Ukraine, a Russian oligarch made a big claim wherein he asserted that Moscow would run out of money by 2024. According to outspoken Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, the country would plunge into further economic crisis, if it does not attract foreign investments.
“There will be no money already next year, we need foreign investors,” CNN quoted the oligarch as saying at an economic conference in Siberia on Thursday. His comments came nearly a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the country’s economy was performing “well” despite the fact it has been facing multiple Western and European Union-imposed sanctions for more than a year now.
Read: Russia-Ukraine war: The Story so far
Russian budget deficit rises by more than $23 billion
The Russian head’s contradictory statement came despite knowing that the economic output shrank 2.1% last year. Several economic pundits claimed that the trend would continue even this year.
It is worth mentioning ever since Moscow started a full-fledged war against Kyiv, the United States and the EU imposed sanctions on the country’s core industry (energy), resulting in a contraction in the economy. In the past year, Moscow’s government revenue plunged 35%, while expenditures jumped 59%, leading to a budget deficit of about 1,761 billion rubles ($23.3 billion).
Only foreign investment would overcome Russia
“Foreign investors, especially from “friendly” countries, also have a big role to play. Whether they will come depends on whether Russia can create the right conditions and make its markets attractive,” Deripaska was quoted by the Russian state news agency TASS as saying.
As of now, only China is acting as a “lifeline” for Moscow by purchasing Russian energy, replacing Western suppliers of machinery and base metals among other products. Besides, Beijing is also accepting payments in rubles– thus providing an alternative to US dollars. During his last interaction with war-embattled President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his US counterpart Joe Biden assured him of imposing further sanctions on Putin’s so-called “special military operations”.
Also Read: Major setback for Russia: FATF suspends Moscow’s membership over ongoing Ukraine war