Russians appear blasé toward sanctions
(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Henry Kirby in London – February 6, 2015)
A recent poll by Russia’s Levada Center has shown that Western sanctions left scarcely more of an impression on Russians than their New Year holidays did.
As the bne:Chart shows, when asked January 23-26 what they considered the most important event of the last month to be, 28% said that they believed it to be continued Western sanctions – only 4% more than said it was their New Year holiday or vacation.
The ongoing conflict in fighting in Eastern Ukraine and Donbass led the poll, with 66% of respondents citing it as the most important event of the last month, while the collapse of the ruble registered 42%.
In fifth place was the continued decline in oil prices, which has seen the price of Brent crude plummet by more than half from its $110 per barrel high of 2014 to $55/b at the time of writing.
Were it not for the weakened ruble, this may have featured higher in the ranks, as the weakened currency has softened the blow of lower oil prices, which are dollar-denominated.