The “architect” of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s economic counterattack to the West, as well as key ideas for easing economic sanctions after the start of the war in Ukraine, is his assistant Maxim Oreshkin. Bloomberg writes about it.
Oreshkin, according to the agency, is the author of the proposal to convert payments for gas into rubles. Oreshkin himself told the agency that he considers the effect of using the "rubles for gas" scheme to be positive. However, he declined to comment on his role in its development.
Since February 24, Oreshkin has become a key member of Putin's circle of economic policy advisers, according to officials familiar with the situation. Now he is helping the Kremlin develop responses. The agency also writes that Oreshkin is part of a group of officials who "for a long time tried to find a fine line between creating investor-friendly economic policies and Putin's growing repression."
Economist Sergei Guriev, who advised the Russian government in the early years of Putin's rule but later fled to Paris, said: “Now they are busy figuring out how to get around the sanctions, and they are doing it quite successfully. But all the money earned goes to finance the war.”
The actions proposed by Oreshkin helped the Kremlin avoid the more serious economic damage from the sanctions. The EU eventually backed down as most major consumers agreed to the new terms. It was Oreshkin, according to the agency, who came up with the phrase about the "real default" of the US and the EU on their obligations to Russia:
“Illegitimate actions to freeze part of the Bank of Russia's foreign exchange reserves draw a line under the reliability of the so-called first-class assets. In fact, both the US and the EU have declared a real default on their obligations to Russia, ”Putin argued in March at a meeting on measures of socio-economic support for Russian regions.
In addition, Putin's aide helped develop a plan in case Russian banks are disconnected from SWIFT.
Journalists recalled that Putin took Oreshkin with him on a trip to Iran, which has been under severe Western sanctions for decades. When asked about Iran's ideas for circumventing restrictions, Oreshkin replied that "ours are much better."
Putin voiced "his" idea to counter the sanctions on March 23, and on March 31 he signed a decree on the transfer of payments for Russian pipeline gas supplies to "unfriendly" countries from foreign currency into rubles. After that, companies from some countries opened special currency and ruble accounts with Gazprombank and began to transfer payments for supplies in foreign currency. The United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada, France, Japan and the United States unanimously rejected such a payment mechanism.