Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — Garry Kasparov, chairman of Human Rights Foundation and former world chess champion, talks with Betty Liu about mounting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin from sanctions, falling oil prices and the collapse of the Ruble. He speaks on “In The Loop.”
BL: You were the first name that popped into my head when i started to see this week the turmoil with the ruble and the intervention. The narrative out right now seems to be that the ruble fell in large part because of this deal with roughness –Rosneft?
GK: Yes, to some extent, but in 2008, the dollar fell, but the ruble didn’t. it is only one factor. Another fact is that Putin is very generous with his friends and he trying to save it by recession.
One way or another we will end up on the currency market. It’s a petrol state economy with other industries collapsing.
And there is a political weakness — it’s a one-man dictatorship. Everything depends on one man.
And I think that market anticipates that so badly needed political reforms cannot happen as long as he is in office.
BL: But he has an approval rating of something like 85% or above.
GK: How do you know? Polling in a one-man dictatorship, especially in a country that that lived under communist rule today, it’s not reliable. Imagine if someone called you on the phone and asked your opinion, what do you think of mr. Putin?
I was shocked that 15% to 20% of people said something negative. Who are they?