RUSSIALINK: “Can Russia Afford Its Save-a-Billionaire Relief Program? Russia’s poorest will end up footing the bill” – Moscow Times/ Vedomosti/ Pavel Aptekar, Vladimir Ruvinsky

Cash, Calculator, Pen

“… new sanctions … the West imposed against companies and businesspeople with close Kremlin ties pose a new challenge for the Russian government and economy. Like in 2014, the authorities have already promised support to those targeted …. ‘Supporting those who support you’ might make sense politically, but how much of this … can the Russian economy bear? * * * … Economists are convinced that the least productive response would be … counter-sanctions …. Not only would they fail to cause perceptible damage to the U.S. economy … they could significantly hurt Russian importers and trigger price increases for specific goods and products. That would most directly affect the poorest Russians, who would have a hard time understanding why they should pay to bail out billion-dollar businesses.”

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