President of Russia, Vladimir Putin Prensa Internacional via ZUMA Wire

De nieuwe behoedzaamheid van Poetin

WASHINGTON, DC – Dit jaar presteert de Russische economie het slechtst van de G20. Zij zal volgens de jongste voorspelling van het Internationale Monetaire Fonds met 3,8% krimpen. En het had gemakkelijk nog veel erger kunnen zijn. President Vladimir Poetin beweert dat zijn economische beleid consistent blijft; in feite is hij wijselijk van koers veranderd en heeft hij de schade weten te beperken die aangericht had kunnen worden als hij dat niet had gedaan.

Eind 2014 was Rusland in de greep van financiële paniek. De Russische centrale bank reageerde op de ineenstortende olieprijs door de roebel te laten zweven, waarop de munt onmiddellijk de helft van zijn waarde verloor. Wanhopige Russen haastten zich om te kopen wat ze konden, voordat hun geld waardeloos werd. De inflatie schoot omhoog naar de 16%.

Het recept van Poetin – dat hij vorig jaar december in zijn jaarlijkse op televisie uitgezonden persconferentie gaf – was niet geruststellend: “We zijn van plan de maatregelen te gebruiken die we met redelijk succes in 2008 hebben toegepast.” Hij verwees naar Ruslands reactie op de financiële crisis, toen het land de grootste fiscale impuls doorvoerde van alle G20-landen – met een omvang van maar liefst 10% van het bbp. Het resultaat: het bbp daalde met 7,8%, de grootste daling in de hele G20. Kortom: Poetin stelde voor een mislukt beleid te herhalen.

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