I recently went to France for a meeting and a seminar and the very first thing that drew my attention was that the Russians I used to see around me had disappeared. Apparently, some sort of “sanctions” pressure is being exerted not only on Russia but also on the Russians in Europe.
There was a Russian family among the passengers on the flight to Lyon I took on Friday. They probably wanted to enter Europe via Istanbul, probably because the Europeans had closed their airspace to Russia. I could not help but notice that they tried to keep their voices down as much as possible while they were talking among themselves, which I found it quite strange since we are used to see Russians talking loudly in public spaces. Unfortunately, the attitude of Russia’s leader is causing his fellow Russians to be more reserved when they are among strangers. Russians have always been portrayed as villains in Hollywood movies, I guess Putin has helped this fantasy turn into reality. Frankly, I felt sorry for this ordinary Russian man who was traveling with his two children and his wife.
During the coffee break of the seminar, I had a witty talk with a Saudi businessman about how eastern people are described in Western cinema, and he said, “Thank God, the world has to deal with Putin now, nobody talks about us anymore.”
“The Cause of this Misfortune Is Obvious, So Is Its Solution…”
I have seen that the prices in Euro have not changed much in the last year in France, but obviously, the depreciation of TRY has made a cup of coffee almost as expensive as gold. Given the circumstances, Turkish retirees will never have the financial means to travel around the world like the retirees of the West. It is not possible to stay in a hotel even for 2 nights in western countries with an average pension.
If Russian rouble continues to depreciate at such rapid pace, Russians too will have to face the same financial challenges. The fact that developing economies are heavily dependent on dollar-denominated financial markets, dollar-dominated foreign capital, dollar-based imports is putting shackles on their own feet.
This is not the only problem of the countries that must import to grow economically and the countries that only survive through energy exports. Instability in diplomacy and domestic politics leads to the depreciation of the national currency and impoverishment. And it is the citizens and businesses that pay the price. Everyone wants to buy more foreign currency to protect themselves, which, however, inevitably results in an environment of crisis.
So, first of all, it is necessary to look for the root causes of this misfortune.
Dealing with the consequences all the time causes the same old problems to keep resurfacing while solutions are rapidly fading away.