The Russian Crisis and its Fallout - The Impact on the Eastern Partnership States and Central Asia Autoren Englisch: Katharina Gröne, Felix Hett (Eds.)
Russia is in an economic crisis. Through a combination of internal factors and external shocks, the Russian economy is heading for a deep recession. Former Soviet republics from Belarus to Uzbekistan are closely linked to Russia economically and largely affected by the crisis. Exports to Russia are collapsing. Investments that in previous years often originated from Russia are receding, and the sharp devaluation of the Russian rouble since autumn 2014 is exerting downward pressure on other currencies in the region. As a result, imports are becoming more expensive, inflation is rising, and income that is often calculated in US dollars is decreasing. Labour migration, which has traditionally focused on Russia, is also affected. Money transfers are dramatically reduced. Shrinking incomes and swelling unemployment could fuel discontent among the populations and provide a breeding ground for protests. Two counter-strategies are emerging at the national level. Diversification of foreign economic relations could reduce economic dependence on Russia, although only in the long term. Quite on the contrary, an approximation to the Eurasian Union could improve working conditions for migrant workers in Russia, while at the same time granting duty-free market access to Russia.