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Policy Contribution

Russia’s growth problem

After the 2014-2016 currency crisis, Russia’s economy has returned to growth, albeit at a slow pace. In this Policy Contribution, the authors analyse the potential causes of mediocre growth performance, as well as its impact on Russia's economic and political relationships. They also include their recommendations for the future.

By: , and Date: February 7, 2019 Topic: Global economy and trade

Between 2014 and 2016, the Russian economy suffered from a currency crisis caused by the collapse of oil prices and the country’s engagement in the conflict with Ukraine. Although the crisis was overcome in the second half of 2016 thanks to prudent fiscal and monetary policies and higher oil prices, economic recovery remains weak and Russia’s medium-term growth prospects look rather disappointing.

The weak growth prospects are caused by several factors including: (i) adverse demographic trends – a declining working-age population and ageing of the population; (ii) a poor business and investment climate; (iii) difficulty in diversifying away from the dominant role of the hydrocarbon sector; (iv) Western sanctions on Russia in response to the annexation of Crimea and Russian support for separatists in the eastern Ukraine Donbas region, and Russian countersanctions.

To increase potential growth, Russia needs comprehensive economic and institutional reforms that, in turn, will be conditioned by political reforms and by improved economic and political relationships with the United States, the European Union and Russia’s neighbours.

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Policy Contribution

How to make the EU Energy Platform an effective emergency tool

The EU Platform could become an effective emergency tool to safeguard Europe’s security of gas supply in case of a sudden interruption of Russian gas flows, but policymakers need to address challenges to make it work.

By: Walter Boltz, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, Thierry Deschuyteneer, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Leigh Hancher, François Lévêque, Ben McWilliams, Axel Ockenfels, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Date: June 16, 2022
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Blog Post

Food security: the role and limits of international rules on export restrictions

Food and fertiliser export restrictions are exacerbating the current food price crisis. The WTO and EU legal toolkits provide some safeguards but are insufficient. Unblocking Ukrainian ports and facilitating wheat exports through large-scale international coordination remains essential.

By: David Kleimann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: June 8, 2022
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Podcast

Podcast

Is China bailing Russia out?

The mystery of China-Russia economic relations in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and what it means for Europe.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Global economy and trade Date: June 8, 2022
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Podcast

Podcast

An embargo on (most) Russian oil

A timely reflection on the EU’s latest round of sanctions banning Russian oil imports.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Green economy Date: May 31, 2022
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Blog Post

The EU needs transparent oil data and enhanced coordination

The EU lacks the coordination structure and transparent data necessary to most effectively navigate an embargo on Russian oil.

By: Agata Łoskot-Strachota, Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: May 16, 2022
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Blog Post

Now is not the time to confiscate Russia’s central bank reserves

The idea of confiscating the Bank of Russia’s frozen reserves is attractive to some, but at this stage in the Ukraine conflict confiscation would be counterproductive and likely illegal.

By: Joshua Kirschenbaum and Nicolas Véron Topic: Banking and capital markets, Global economy and trade Date: May 16, 2022
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Opinion

For Europe, an oil embargo is not the way to go

Even at this late hour, the European Union should consider taking a different path.

By: Simone Tagliapietra, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: May 9, 2022
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Opinion

A tariff on imports of fossil fuel from Russia

A tariff on imports of Russian fossil fuels would allow Europe to hit Russia's energy sector without great suffering.

By: Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: May 2, 2022
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External Publication

How to weaken Russian oil and gas strength

Letter published in Science.

By: Ricardo Hausmann, Agata Łoskot-Strachota, Axel Ockenfels, Ulrich Schetter, Simone Tagliapietra, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: May 2, 2022
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Opinion

A phase out of Russian oil may be less effective than a tariff at reducing Putin’s rents

A punitive tariff on all energy imports from Russia would be a better choice than a gradually phased-in embargo on selected fuels.

By: Simone Tagliapietra, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade Date: May 2, 2022
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Blog Post

How a European Union tariff on Russian oil can be designed

The European Union should apply a tariff on imports of Russian oil; it can be accompanied by a quota for a gradual, conditional phase-out of all Russian oil imports.

By: David Kleimann, Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: April 29, 2022
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Opinion

EU risks letting Putin’s gas divide-and-rule strategy win

The 2 May meeting of EU energy ministers should deliver strong and common EU action. Failing to do so would undermine Europe’s unity, energy security and foreign policy.

By: Agata Łoskot-Strachota, Simone Tagliapietra and Georg Zachmann Topic: Global economy and trade, Green economy Date: April 29, 2022
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