Policy Paper 18 (April 2011) – Impact of the Financial Crisis on Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

Russia, Ukraine and Belarus lie geographically and geo-economically between the Atlantic core states and the Far East. They are attracted in two directions – by the capital rich Atlantic core, which seeks new locations for investment and by East Asia which wants these countries’ energy supplies, primary and semi processed goods. Thus it is understandable that the present global crisis should have appeared in these countries in the summer and autumn of 2008 first as a collapse of their external commodities markets located mainly in the East, followed quickly by the collapse of their external sources of credit from the West. My task here is to examine how the present global crisis unfolded in these three countries, what their common experience has been, and in what measure it has been distinct for each of them. I don’t believe that the current crisis is over, far from it. I’ll be looking mainly how at these countries have faced the crisis and responded to it so far. All of them are now recovering in terms of GDP output, but insofar as this is a truly global crisis, no one country, no region, let alone one that accounts for less than 2% of world GDP can find a lasting solution to the problems the crisis has thrown up.

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