Nothing to see here. Russia’s state statistics agency, Rosstat, will stop sharing details on Russian real incomes. According to Rosstat, the agency currently has access to only poor or scarce data to calculate that figure, so it’s switching to a new methodology. That doesn’t explain, however, why the agency is taking down all of the existing data. The Russian government may be concerned that real wages are low and growing too slowly to meet the cost of living, and Moscow may believe that publishing the data would be politically risky. Indeed, we anticipated that there would be more social unrest in Russia in 2019, primarily because of a decline in standards of living driven by factors like lower wages and higher taxes.
Russia’s answer to SWIFT. Moscow is touting a Russian alternative to the Belgium-based SWIFT system, which is used for transferring funds around the world. Russia fears that it could be cut off from the system, like Iran was in 2012, limiting its access to glo