Policy brief

It’s not just Russia: Currency crisis in the Commonwealth of independent states

This Policy Contribution analyses the dynamics of currency crises in Russia and Ukraine and their regional contagion, with attention to changes in nom

Publishing date
09 February 2015
Authors
Marek Dabrowski

 Highlights

• The currency crisis that started in Russia and Ukraine during 2014 has spread to neighbouring countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The collapse of the Russian ruble, expected recession in Russia, the stronger US dollar and lower commodity prices have negatively affected the entire region, with the consequence that the European Union's entire eastern neighbourhood faces serious economic, social and political challenges because of weaker currencies, higher inflation, decreasing export revenues and labour remittances, net capital outflows and stagnating or declining GDP.

• The crisis requires a proper policy response from CIS governments, the International Monetary Fund and the EU. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict in Donbass requires rapid resolution, as the first step to return Russia to the mainstream of global economic and political cooperation. Beyond that, both Russia and Ukraine need deep structural and institutional reforms. The EU should deepen economic ties with those CIS countries that are interested in a closer relationship with Europe. The IMF should provide additional assistance to those CIS countries that have become victims of a new regional contagion, while preparing for the possibility of more emerging-market crises arising from slower growth, the stronger dollar and lower commodity prices.

About the authors

  • Marek Dabrowski

    Dr. Marek Dabrowski is a Non-Resident Scholar at Bruegel, Professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, co-founder and Fellow at CASE - Center for Social and Economic Research in Warsaw and Member of the Scientific Council of the E.T. Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy in Moscow.

    He was Chairman of the CASE Supervisory Council and its President of Management Board (1991-2011), Chairman of the Supervisory Board of CASE Ukraine in Kyiv (1999-2009 and 2013-2015), and Fellow under the 2014-2015 Fellowship Initiative of the European Commission – Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs. He is a former First Deputy Minister of Finance of Poland (1989-1990), Member of Parliament (1991-1993) and Member of the Monetary Policy Council of the National Bank of Poland (1998-2004).

    Since the end of 1980s he has been involved in policy advising and policy research in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yemen, and in a number of international research projects related to monetary and fiscal policies, growth and poverty, currency crises, international financial architecture, perspectives of European integration, European Neighborhood Policy, trade policy, and political economy of transition.

    He has also worked as a consultant in a number of EU, World Bank, IMF, UNDP, OECD and USAID projects. Marek is the author of several academic and policy papers, and editor of several book publications.

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