Wednesday 15 June 2022

Fred Weir in Moscow wrote this on 11 June

Fred Weir is a Canadian journalist who is a Moscow correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor since 1998. He published this article on 11 June, from which I quote.
Nobody, including me, expected to be writing these kinds of stories at this point in this awful war and sanctions orgy. I was, perhaps, better primed for skepticism than most because I've seen this movie many times before. You are supposed to be looking at catastrophe and collapse, and instead your nose keeps pointing you to stories of survival and resilience.


I realize that nobody wants to hear this. The trolls who haunt my page will go nuts over this post. But even Russian inflation is declining this month. The rouble is stronger than it's been in years. And here's a fun fact: You can actually buy US dollars in Moscow banks, at a rate of about 57 roubles, and transfer them abroad. It's more difficult than it used to be, but we know it works because we've done it. 

Of course, deflation has its dark side too, and no one is suggesting that all is well in Russia. But the remarkable common denominator in all these fresh stories about the unexpected staying power of the Russian economy is that they are all diligently trying to identify the bad news in almost every graph. Of course they find it, because every silver lining always has a cloud, but they've all finally come around to recognizing that the essential storyline here is about Russia coping, not crashing.


Have sanctions been a terrible mistake? At any rate let's have a negotiated peace and quickly, if possible - can an end to the sanctions be sold to the voters in Western countries, who will suffer most from them, if they are counter-effective?

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