Former US presidency special assistant William Courtney says Russia’s economy is taking a major hit amid the wave of economic sanctions by Western countries over the war in Ukraine. While the Kremlin appears to be shrugging its shoulders and turning a blind eye to Russia’s economic realities, Russian citizens have been hit hardest by sanctions and have already seen their standard of living plummet in recent months. As a result, the new harsh economic realities have started to cause civil unrest in the country and have provoked attempts to oust Vladimir Putin.
When asked about the chances of regime change in Russia, Courtney told Times Radio: “It’s too difficult to make predictions about this.
“There seems to be unrest in Moscow. For example, one of the top liberal economists is university president there and has just been detained in what appears to be a politically motivated attempt.
“So that could be a sign that the Kremlin, which is led by former KBG officials, is angry at the economic truth that economists are telling them about the damage to the economy.
“The economy has suffered and will suffer a lot more. This will have a direct impact on the living standards of the Russians. They are going down.
“They could fall a lot. And they are already lower than before the Russian aggression in 2014, when the West was against sanctions for the first time.”
“So there will probably be a regime change,” Courtney said. “If it happens, and nobody knows, a combination of military factors, frustrations in Ukraine and economic factors could lead to social and political unrest.”
As a sign of Russia’s crumbling economy, the Kremlin has defaulted on its foreign debt — a first since 1918. In all, Russia failed to pay about $100 million in interest in two bonds.
A US White House official said the sovereign default is evidence of the effectiveness of Western economic sanctions.
“(It) situates how strong the responses have been that the US, along with allies and partners, has taken, as well as how dramatic the impact has been on the Russian economy,” a senior government official told CNN on the sidelines of a G7 summit. in Germany.
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