Last week, Russia tried desperately to get OPEC to cut its production quotas, even offering a voluntary cut of its own in a meeting with three (oddly selected) oil producers: Saudi Arabia (KSA), Venezuela, and Mexico. Then OPEC, predictably, decided not to cut, and Russia hurried to say it was happy with the decision.
France has announced a further delay in handing over the Mistrals, and Moscow is now saying that the decision to order the warships was totally wrong and the Russian navy would feel no more than a pinprick if the Mistrals never arrived.
The western sanctions, we are now told by Kremlin officials of various standing, are a boon to the Russian economy, helping diversify the economy, stimulating domestic production, etc., etc.
I’m waiting for Putin to make more statements along these lines in his address to the parliament on Dec. 4. “Inflation is good,” for example, “we have always maintained that: zero inflation is economic lethargy.”
(To be clear, the weak rouble might indeed be stimulate the Russian economy but it also translates int high inflation and its cost is being borne by the population at large. Also, the impact of the weak rouble on inflation is exacerbated by Russia’s food import bans.)