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The improper financial policies implemented by the Russian government during and previous to the economic crisis of November 1997 causing Russias economy to decline lead to a severe crisis in August of 1998 which my avoided been contained or avoided if the situation would have been handled differently Since May of 1998 Russia has been caught in the latest and likely the most serious economic crisis The crisis came to a head on August 17 1998 when the government of then-Premier Sergei Kiriyenko abandoned its defense of a strong ruble exchange rate against the dollar by defaulted on government domestic debt forcing its restructuring and placed a 90-day moratorium on commercial external debt payments Those actions led to President Yeltsins dismissal of Kiriyenko on August 23 replaced after a political standoff with the Duma by a more leftward-leaning government led by 35 year former energy secretary Yevgennij Primakov The August crisis also lowered Russians standard of living and set back Russias efforts toward establishing a market economy perhaps for years to come The direct cause of crisis has been the Russian governments failure to address fiscal imbalances Less direct but more fundamental causes have been structural problems The government has an inefficient tax regime that fails to generate sufficient revenues to meet fiscal obligations More fundamentally incomplete economic restructuring has left an economy much of which is run on barter that masks inefficient and even value-subtracting economic activities and that makes attaining fiscal balances even more arduous But Russia has faced difficult setbacks along the way this current crisis being the most serious The effects of this crisis and how Russian policymakers manage seems likely to determine the future of Russian economic reform and consequently prospects for long-term Russian economic growth and development Crisis in October 1997 as a seed of crisis in August 1998 What the world financial crisis was Russians knew basically from the books It was so
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