(Los Angeles Times) The Russian ruble hit a record low Monday as the country's economy continued to reel from the combined effect of slumping oil prices and international sanctions. The value of the currency slid to close to 54 rubles to the U.S. dollar at the Moscow hard currency exchange. The decline stopped only after the Bank of Russia reacted with a massive dollar intervention in the afternoon. A bank official called the situation “complicated,” the Interfax news agency reported. […]
“Everything we have seen in our foreign policy this year has been a political mistake invariably leading to economic woes,” Konstantin Sonin, deputy director of the Moscow-based Higher School of Economics, said in an interview. “Especially outrageous was the decision to hit the West with counter-sanctions banning Western foodstuffs, which made absolutely no economic sense and reason and hit the ordinary Russian consumer worse than Western producers and importers.”
Russia has been heading into a new stagnation over the last six years and the political turmoil of recent months has only exacerbated the problem, Sonin said.