Russia Ukraine War Latest Updates: Putin Refuses to Fire Russia’s Central Bank Chief Over Ukraine2 min read
Elvira Nabiullina, the head of Russia’s central bank, was nominated for a new five-year term last week. She is now forced to deal with the aftermath of a conflict that has undone much of what she has accomplished in the nine years since taking office. People speculated that Vladimir Putin’s resignation now would be viewed as a betrayal. She more than quadrupled the main interest rate and introduced capital restrictions to stem the outflow of cash as the ruble plummeted as the US and its allies slapped sweeping sanctions, including on the central bank itself. When the IT staff ran out of hands to close accounts, arrows were strewn across the corridors.
She didn’t accept questions after the rate meeting, which was a remarkable departure from prior practise. Putin stated earlier this month that he believes Russia will overcome its present economic challenges and become more self-sufficient. Officials simulated scenarios before the invasion, including a possible cut-off from the SWIFT financial messaging service, but regarded penalties on the central bank’s reserves to be too excessive to be anything more than hypothetical, according to sources familiar with the issue. The central bank built one of the world’s largest reserves of foreign currency and gold during her leadership, cracked down on lenders deemed mismanaged or under-capitalized, and reduced inflation to its lowest point in post-Soviet Russia’s history. Russia’s central bank built one of the world’s largest foreign currency reserves under Nabiullina’s leadership.
Putin believed in her, listened to her, and supported her fiscal ideas in front of other authorities. However, with the sanctions imposed on Russia’s economy, most of her legacy was shattered in a matter of hours.