Preserving the ruble is essential to Vladimir Putin’s regime, Princeton professor Ekaterina Pravilova stated.
Russia has a protracted historical past of viewing forex power as an indication of nationwide status.
After a powerful rebound in 2022, the ruble has dropped considerably in latest months.
The Russian ruble is as essential to Vladimir Putin’s regime as his warfare on Ukraine is, in response to Princeton professor Ekaterina Pravilova.
It is because the forex has been touted all through Russian historical past as proof of nationwide power, the Russia scholar wrote within the Washington Post.
“Towards this historic backdrop, President Vladimir Putin’s preoccupation with the ruble and the ‘enemy currencies’ is neither new nor shocking,” she stated. “In his speeches, Putin typically ponders Western makes an attempt to smash the ruble and mocks their failure.”
Quickly after the warfare’s begin in 2022, the ruble took a dive earlier than capital controls within the nation halted an additional slide.
Later that yr, a powerful rebound made the ruble the top-performing currency in opposition to the greenback, earlier than dropping in recent months. At present, it trades at 76 in opposition to the buck.
Putin’s fixation on the ruble’s power stems from earlier Russian beliefs that the forex’s standing signaled the nation’s geopolitical popularity, in response to Pravilova.
Usually all through historical past, the ruble was measured up in opposition to Western currencies, and Chilly Struggle propaganda routinely uplifted the ruble over the greenback as a present of power, she famous.
However with as we speak’s Ukraine battle, the Kremlin cannot cover how the ruble is buying and selling in opposition to different currencies and has identified the advantages of a weaker change fee, such because the enhance to grease exports and authorities income, Pravilova stated.
“Along with the warfare on the battlefields, a rhetorical warfare unfolds, with the ruble figuring as one among its superb heroes,” she added. “The preservation of the ruble’s standing is essential for the regime, and the ruble’s demise might have an effect on Putin and the federal government’s recognition as a lot because the Russian military’s losses in Ukraine.”
The Russian authorities cannot forestall folks from wanting Western merchandise or seal off its economic system to turn into unbiased from imports, the scholar stated, noting the ruble’s falling fee ultimately impacts hundreds of thousands of Russian shoppers.
“The ideological fixation on the ruble’s fee paradoxically makes the regime extra susceptible and doubtlessly inclined to criticism at residence,” Pravilova wrote.
Learn the unique article on Business Insider