An Oligarch’s Lament

Oleg Deripaska, once owner of RusAl – the Russian aluminium industry – at over $4billion and one time friend of Putin in a sense does not have to worry too much personally; he has Cypriot citizenship and his yacht, Clio, is safely moored in the Maldives, a country which does not have an extradition agreement with the United States. But he is very worried about the war and is not averse to saying so. He did so at the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum.

“Russia in near future”, on his view, “is heading for the most severe crisis which surpasses even the crisis of 1998.” Not one to mince words, he argues that “You can multiply the crisis of 1998 by three in order to get an idea of the scale”. A solution will be found. “Nevertheless we have to have peace.” The financial pressure on the population has to be eased; they are not guilty of anything. He is opposed to Nabiullina at the Central Bank raising interest rates to 20% to break fast rising inflation. “Can you imagine the people of Bratsk paying a 22% mortgage?”, he asks.This will kill construction.

There is a solution, he says, and that is to turn to Asia. “There is an economy nearby: $18 trillion this year in China alone. If you toss in all the other numbers, it’s much bigger than Europe; dynamic in a different way. This is our rebuff to the West: well, they don’t want us; so we are done with them”, he concluded defiantly.


03.03.2022, 14:00

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