For Europe, the defining event of 2014 was Russia’s annexation of Crimea and military intervention in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region, which directly challenged Europe's renunciation of the use of force to alter national borders. But Russia is no longer in any position to sustain its aggressive foreign policy.
Ukraine is a victim of Russian military aggression, and, like it or not, its fate will essentially determine that of Europe's, because the current crisis will define the rules and principles that Europeans live by in the twenty-first century. That is why Europe must support Ukraine's embattled government with urgently needed money.
The rapid depreciation of the ruble, despite a dramatic – and seemingly
desperate – late-night interest-rate hike by the central bank last month, has
raised the specter of Russia’s economic meltdown in 1998. But, though Russia’s
economy is undoubtedly in trouble, a full-blown collapse is unlikely.
With Ukraine’s economy on the brink of economic collapse, the IMF is readying itself for yet another outsize loan. But rather than the IMF risking its credibility, Western allies should provide Ukraine with financial support.
"The Central Bank of Russia has changed its de-facto exchange rate regime several times,creating an impression that it takes decisions under market and political pressure, and notnecessarily in accordance with macroeconomic priorities"