- Kremlin insiders gathered in secret last February to answer a crucial question for Vladimir Putin: Could Russia afford the economic blowback from taking over Crimea?...Three government officials characterized the February discussions as critical to Putin’s thinking on Ukraine...Putin, 62, was told Russia had enough foreign currency reserves to annex Crimea and withstand any sanctions that might follow. The president might not have proceeded had Russia not built up its cash cushion in good times, said the three officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the discussions.
- “For Putin, the reserves that Russia has accumulated over the past 14 years equal political power,” Alexei Kudrin, who ran the country’s finances from 2000 to 2011, said in an interview in Moscow.
- ...rising crude prices fueled average growth of 7 percent a year, filled state coffers...That, in turn, helped embolden Putin. In 2007, when reserves surged passed $300 billion, the president openly criticized the U.S. In 2008, as the cash pile reached a record $598 billion, Russia went to war with Georgia.
- Putin views reserves as a proxy for Russian strength and adjusts foreign policy accordingly, said Tony Brenton, Britain’s ambassador to Russia from 2004 to 2008.
- “For Putin, just one thing matters: is there money?” said Sergei Aleksashenko, a former first deputy chairman of the central bank. “Yes. So, goodbye!”
Перевод на русский: У сакральной корсуни есть бабки - сакральная корсунь борзеет. Не будет бабок у сакральной корсуни - сакральная корсунь борзеть перестанет.