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Putin Isn’t as Immune to the Oil Crash as He’s Letting On

  • Kremlin pain will grow if crude war lasts more than 1 year
  • Prolonged low prices put higher living standards at risk
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir PutinPhotographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

After embarking on an oil price war that shook global markets, Russia has been boasting that it can cope with oil as low as $25 a barrel for the next decade. Economists aren’t so sure.

Russia has spent the past five years tightening its budget and building up more than $550 billion in reserves -- leaving it in a stronger position than oil-market rival Saudi Arabia. Realistically, though, the Kremlin could begin feeling the pain if the crude price war lasts much more than a year, according to analysts.