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The Guardian: Russia’s ruble crisis poses threat to nine countries relying on remittances including Georgia

Thursday, January 22
Nine countries, including Georgia, that rely heavily on cash sent home from Russia for their economic buoyancy could collectively lose more than $10bn USD (?6.6bn) in 2015 because of the weak Russian currency, reported the Guardian, based on World Bank figures.

21percent of Armenia’s economy, 12 percent of Georgia’s, 31.5 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s, 25 percent of Moldova’s, 42 percent of Tajikistan’s, 5.5 percent of Ukraine’s, 4.5 percent of Lithuania’s, 2.5 percent of Azerbaijan’s and 12 percent of Uzbekistan’s, rely on remittances, says the World Bank data.

In most of these cases money from immigrants in Russia comprises a significant portion of these inflows. About 40 percent of remittances to Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are from Russia, rising to 79 percent for Kyrgyzstan.

Drop in rouble value not only decimating amount sent home by workers from Caucasus and central Asia, but could lead to political unrest, warns the Guardian.

The tendency could be problematic for Russia too, which is expected to rely on immigrant labor for the formidable building projects as the country prepares to host the 2018 Soccer World Cup. (