December 26, 2008

Russian ruble slides again

The Russian ruble fell to a new low against the euro Friday with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warning Russia faces a dangerous time.

The ruble slid fell to 40.81 against the euro and 29 against the dollar after the fourth currency devaluation by Moscow in a week, The Financial Times reported Friday.

The devaluation was designed to offset the impact of the world economic crisis and plunging oil prices, the Times reported, noting Russian oil exports are at their lowest level in four years.

Gorbachev told the Times Russia faces unprecedentedly difficult and dangerous circumstances and could be heading into a black hole as workers face non-payment of wages and loss of jobs.

Residents of Vladivostok staged a major protest earlier this month against car import duties designed to prop up domestic car makers, the Times reported, noting the bailout makes foreign cars prohibitively expensive for ordinary Russians.