The expert warned that Vladimir Putin’s nation is being destabilised thanks to oil prices
The nation is being pummelled by the low oil price and global sanctions at the same time.While the Kremlin is hanging on for now, a major investment manager warned that chaos is just around the corner.
Kremlin critic and investor William Browder gave the warning
William Browder, a long-time critic of Vladimir Putin’s regime, said world events have turned against Russia recently.Its involvement in Ukraine’s civil war led to damaging sanctions from Western nations, which have choked off economic growth.
At the same time, a tumble in oil prices worldwide has hit the nation’s biggest export.
The tumbling oil price is partly to blame, Browder said. Pictured is a Russia oilfield
Mr Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital – a Russian-focussed investment vehicle, gave the warning.He said: “I don’t think you can underestimate how bad the situation in Russia is right now, you’ve got oil below any measure where the budget can survive and you’ve got sanctions from the West. Russia is in what I’d call a real serious economic crisis”.
He said Russia’s central bank is keeping the economy together for now by burning through cash reserves.Speaking to US business channel CNBC, he added: “Eventually they’re going to run out of that money and when they do, that’s when the real trouble begins.”
Mr Browder theorised that economic trouble have led Mr Putin to become a more nationalistic leader.
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As a result, he said, he has oppressed his own people and made a scapegoat of Western civilisation.Mr Browder is a well-known opponent of the Kremlin, and has said he feels under threat because of his criticisms.
A close friend of his died in Russian police custody while trying to investigate corruption.
He was kicked out of the country in 2005 after making allegations of his own against Mr Putin’s regime.
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