Alexei Vedev, Head of the Financial Studies Department, Gaidar Institute, briefed ‘Novaya Gazeta’ on the reasons for the plunge in USD/RB exchange rate in the wake of coronavirus. 
Over recent days, ruble suffered a steep drop against USD and euro. On Friday July 31 USD exchange rate on the Moscow forex exchange exceed the benchmark of Rb 74.41 to USD for the first time after the lockdown; euro exchange rate went up to the values seen in late March and hit Rb 88. Having said that, crude oil quotations remain at the stable level: Urals crude oil price exceeds $43 per barrel. 
According to Alexei Vedev, “depreciation of the ruble is profitable to exporters and budget, but for the whole manufacturing industry this poses problems.”
“It is beyond me why to help exporters when prices are at a rather comfortable level and market participants hardly expect the oil price to drop. Ruble’s plunge on forex exchanges is counterproductive and destabilizes the economic situation. I would like to believe that the ruble’s depreciation has been a deliberate decision of the decision. At the oil price of $40-45 per barrel the market-clearing rate for the Russian economy varies between Rb 68-71 to USD,” – expert believes.
Main factor affecting exchange rate in the coming months will be coronavirus and the state of the global economy. The second wave of pandemic can curb demand on shipments and oil prices. And in that case, ruble’s exchange rate will not stop at Rb 75 per USD.