Financial Troubles Ahead: Russian Billionaire Issues a Dire Warning For Russia

Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia's wealthiest businessmen and founder of Rusal, the largest aluminum producer outside of China, has warned of impending financial difficulties in Russia.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Financial Troubles Ahead: Russian Billionaire Issues a Dire Warning For Russia

Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia's wealthiest businessmen and founder of Rusal, the largest aluminum producer outside of China, has warned of impending financial difficulties in Russia. In a recent speech at an economic conference in Siberia, Deripaska warned that the country's financial troubles could reach a crescendo in 2024.

A Shift in Priorities

“We thought we were a European country," stated Deripaska. "Now, for the next 25 years, we will think more about our Asian past." Deripaska, who was listed as the richest person in Russia and the ninth richest in the world by Forbes in 2008 before the financial crisis, went on to say that there will be "no money already next year." He emphasized the need for foreign investment, noting that Russia has already begun to "shake us [businessmen] down."

The Pressure of Sanctions

Deripaska warned of the "severe" pressure Russia is facing from EU sanctions in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

He noted that building "state capitalism is not an option" and stressed that he is "very worried all the time that the state and business are constantly being set against each other" due to the conflict. Putin's aide has revealed that Russia has “no limitations” on the funds it plans to spend in the war, but with the sanctions imposed by the West, US-based economists predict that Russia's deficit could soar more than 55% to 4.5 trillion rubles ($59.7 billion) this year.

In a separate Telegram message, Deripaska called for an end to the hostilities in Ukraine, stating, "Peace is very important! It is insane to prolong [peace] negotiations!" He went on to suggest that Russia should continue to develop a market economy rather than accumulate "state capital." Deripaska's warning of impending financial difficulties in Russia serves as a sobering reminder of the impact of ongoing conflict and sanctions on the country's economy. It remains to be seen how Russia will address these challenges in the coming years.

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