The ruble has collapsed, Putin may end the war

Putin must choose – save his economy or continue the war in Ukraine

Continued anti-Russian sanctions and the collapse of the Russian ruble will eventually force Russian President Vladimir Putin to choose between continuing the war or saving his economy.

According to The Washington Post, the weakening of the ruble is one of the most obvious signs of the strain on the Russian economy. The effects of the sanctions put pressure on the ruble, leading to a depreciation of the Russian currency and trade imbalances in the economy.

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As of July, more than 3,600 individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft had been sanctioned in the United States. The largest Russian banks, military manufacturers and government officials all the way up to Vladimir Putin are also targeted by US sanctions.

The number of EU sanctions has exceeded 1,800. The largest and most significant sanctions include a coordinated freeze by Western governments of around $300 billion of Russian central bank assets abroad and an oil embargo. There are also restrictions on the export of technology used for military purposes. The sanctions include asset freezes, banking and trade restrictions, and other financial sanctions against Russian individuals and entities. Russia’s oil revenues in July were 41% lower than a year earlier. The current account surplus — roughly the difference between exports and imports — shrank by more than $140 billion in the first seven months of 2023 from a year earlier.

As the material states, the US and its allies plan to stop the circumvention and avoidance of sanctions and trade restrictions, especially through third countries. One possible move could be to strengthen so-called secondary sanctions against third countries — for example, a company based in Turkey or China — for doing business with Russian individuals or entities under sanctions.

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