JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia’s economic woes will clip Vladimir Putin’s wings; Pandemic combined with collapsing oil prices spells real hardship” – Financial Times

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Putin’s … oil price war with Saudi Arabia … was disastrously timed. … days before the coronavirus pandemic began forcing economies around the world into lockdown, cutting crude demand. Russia then succumbed to the virus itself. … [Putin] had to cancel a referendum to approve constitutional changes …. The IMF forecasts Russian [GDP] could contract by 5.5 per cent …. The … pandemic support package … is skewed towards large companies rather than small businesses and families …. [E]x- finance minister [Kudrin] has forecast 8m Russians could lose jobs. … two-thirds of citizens have no savings …. [T]he president’s move to change rules so he could stand for re-election in 2024 aimed in part to suppress manoeuvrings among the ‘elites’ who really keep him in power. … watching for signs his authority is waning. …”

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