Thanks to Sanctions, Russia Is Cushioned From Virus’s Economic Shocks

Years of economic isolation and bulging financial reserves have positioned the country to ride out the coronavirus panic and bounce right back.

Paradoxically, however, those sanctions and the policies Russia enacted in response prepared the Kremlin for what came this month: a universal dislocation of the global economy from the coronavirus pandemic and an oil price war that led to a collapse in oil prices and the revenues that Russia relies upon to support social spending.

“Russia will be a bit better off than other countries because of its experience, because of sanctions and because of reserves,” said Vladimir V. Tikhomirov, chief economist for BCS Global Markets, referring to the roughly $600 billion in gold and hard currency reserves the country has amassed.

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