Константин Сонин профессор Чикагского университета и НИУ ВШЭ

Константин Сонин профессор Чикагского университета и НИУ ВШЭ

Economic implications? A direct consequence of the sanctions will be the 90-100 ruble and the massive withdrawal of foreign currency deposits; Central Bank guarantees are probably sufficient to prevent a real banking panic. Medium-term - prices will rise more than they would have risen without the war, by 10-15% per year. There is nothing fatal in this, of course. Long-term - continued stagnation as long as it lasts - this is a good scenario. An economic crisis with a catastrophic escalation of the 1990 type over the course of several years turned from an incredible scenario into a possible one.

And this crisis is completely man-made. There is no rational basis for an attack on Ukraine. It is impossible to briefly describe how this war is contrary to the interests of Russia. This is a crime - both by historical standards and by Russian law, and I hope that everyone - both the organizers of the attack and the perpetrators - will answer according to the law. What they will answer before history - there is no need to hope for this, there is no doubt about it. The insane, unprovoked attack by Argentine generals on the Falkland Islands was a crime, but here the scale is dozens of times greater, and we will have to deal with the consequences for the rest of our lives.

Will international isolation and economic autarchy be the end of Russia? I think not by themselves. Even if we imagine the most difficult economic scenario, it is worse than the “Soviet version”. If Western Europe stops buying Russian gas, as creepy as it sounds, I think that the prospects for this depend on the scale of losses among Ukrainian civilians. In this case, the decline in the standard of living will be noticeable and strong, but not fatal - in this case, a decrease in the standard of living to the “late Soviet level” is possible. That is, a shortage of basic products, queues and a distribution system, but not hunger.

But this is "worse than the Soviet version." I would consider the "Soviet option" - that is, the severing of financial ties with the world, but with the sale of oil, gas and metals, and the purchase of imports through China and Latin America - basic. Basic - before the regime change, but where the regime change will come from is still unclear. In this scenario, the standard of living is also reduced, but not as much as in the "super hard". In this scenario, no emigration ban would be needed, because the departure would be limited to tens or, at most, hundreds of thousands of people.

And this is without discussing the possibility that the war will turn out to be protracted, that the need to wage an extremely unpopular war will lead to another tightening of the screws, further worsening the economic situation. By tightening the screws, Lukashenka brought the country to economic collapse and complete dependence on an external sponsor for a year, but our country does not have an “external sponsor” who could fill the budget during the political crisis. To some extent, of course, there will be enough reserves - but when you think about the reserves, you remember that this is some kind of unforced, unnecessary, criminal war.

 

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