The Russian government is taking a risky political gamble by allowing the ruble to fall along with the price of oil. The Russian currency dropped to a record low for a third day, continuing its most severe decline since 1998, when the country defaulted on its internal debt. The freefall will soon affect consumption, and even the less affluent citizens who form President Vladimir Putin’s support base could become restless.

At first glance, the ruble’s recent depreciation follows the trajectory of oil prices, which dropped sharply after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries declined to cut output last week. Other oil-producer currencies have suffered, too. Yet the ruble’s slump is deepest of all.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.