Today Donald Trump said:

Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!

Is there any evidence that Russia is devaluing their currency? There currency took a huge hit after sanctions, but Trump created those sanctions.

  • 5
    "said" or "tweeted" ?
    – Evargalo
    Apr 16, 2018 at 14:42
  • 5
    Since this question is more about economics and the validity of a claim rather than politics specifically, I think it might get better/more answers on either the Economics or Skeptics StackExchanges.
    – Giter
    Apr 16, 2018 at 15:15
  • 7
    Treasury Department says no
    – CGCampbell
    Apr 16, 2018 at 15:23
  • 1
    @CGCampbell The answer Apr 16, 2018 at 15:33
  • 4
    Why would there be "off-topic" votes? The fact that a US President made this claim, in itself, makes it about politics.
    – grovkin
    Apr 16, 2018 at 19:37

3 Answers 3


Is there any evidence that Russia is devaluing their currency?

There are certainly people in the Russian government who are keen to see a devaluation.

They may not have been as effective as they might wish.

In February 2017 the FT reported

Russia is to spend more than Rbs113bn ($1.9bn) during the next month in an effort to weaken the rouble, marking a reversal from the 2014 foreign exchange shock that forced it to intervene heavily to stop the currency falling too far.

The central bank will spend Rbs6.3bn a day on forex transactions from February 7 to March 6, the finance ministry said in a statement on Friday. The move follows a steady rally in the rouble as the oil price has picked up.

The move reflects a desire among policymakers to build up forex reserves last week to prevent rising oil prices from strengthening the currency.

In April 2017, Bloomberg reported Vladimir Putin:

Not content to wait for the central bank to deliver another dose of monetary easing this week, President Vladimir Putin is making clear Russia still has tools to shape the exchange rate to its liking.

At a meeting with entrepreneurs in the Yaroslavl region on Tuesday, Putin said the government is looking for “market-based measures” to affect the ruble, monitoring what he deemed as the “key” issue of its stability “practically on a daily basis.” While couched in terms of keeping the currency steady, the comments were enough to send the ruble into a steeper decline.

In June 2017, Bloomberg reported Denis Manturov as saying

As the industry minister, I support a weakening of the ruble, but unfortunately I can’t influence its levels ... We are in constant dialogue with the central bank, and it hears us ... The devaluation effect hasn’t yet been exhausted for Russian industry".

The report continues

Russia has little to show for the efforts it’s made so far to guide the ruble weaker, even with purchases of foreign exchange conducted by the Finance Ministry since February. Its real effective exchange rate, measured against the currencies of Russia’s major trading partners and adjusted for inflation, appreciated about 5 percent in the year to date through May, central bank data show.

Does anyone in the US really care?

In April 2018, the NY Times said

The comment about Russia is curious. While Russia is of course an important geopolitical player, its sclerotic economy and isolated financial system mean that it’s not an important player in global commerce.

For example, the United States’ trade with Russia is a rounding error — $17 billion worth of imports in 2017 (Chinese imports were 31 times that high). And the ruble is not on the radar of currency traders, the way that, say, the British pound or Swiss franc is.

It’s true that the ruble has plummeted against the dollar this month, falling about 8 percent. But that isn’t because the Russian government is playing some devaluation game. The ruble fell because stringent new sanctions on influential Russians are crimping demand for the currency.

An adage about Trump's tweets is that they should be taken seriously but should not be taken literally. They indicate something about Trump's mood at a moment in time, not some clear specification of a well thought-out policy or analysis.


As a foreign exchange trader I can say that every nation is playing the currency devaluation game. Exports become cheaper and more competitive to foreign buyers. Therefore, this provides a boost for domestic demand and could lead to job creation in the export sector.

  • Hello AlexandruGabriel! Weclome to Politics.SE. Could you expand your answer as well as provide citations? And (if you are comfortable), could you provide proof that you are a foreign exchange trader? This would boost your credibility on the subject.
    – isakbob
    Aug 14, 2019 at 17:50
  • @F1Krazy: hey Krazy.. how come you didn't make that comment about this answer. It is the exact same answer as mine. it is like what you downvote.. or pretend to be righteous about.. it is all up to you. and no your opinion .. doesn't matter. my opinion.. doesn't matter. trump's opinion.. also doesn't matter. because every mature adult in the room knows that it a political/opinion question. Aug 15, 2019 at 19:41

Everyone is devaluing.

Have you guys been to the EU or the UK lately?

Or maybe we are the only one still stupid enough to prop up the dollar vs. GOLD the true universal currency.

  • The question is about Russia specifically, please try to focus on that.
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 15, 2019 at 19:24
  • @F1Krazy: but it is answered. Charges of currency manipulation is... a political question. It isn't a science question or even a soft science (economics) question. It is purely a political question. if your politics says it is, then it is. if your politics says it isn't, then it isn't. is the US manipulating the gold market vs the dollar? Maybe, maybe not. depending on politics. Is Russia manipulating the ruble? maybe? maybe not. this is the great thing.. it is whatever you want it to be.. and you would be right in your own mind. Aug 15, 2019 at 19:38
  • @F1Krazy: the only time this really matters is if you are a boutique currency trader... then you are making real calls.. betting real money.. otherwise this is literally whatever you want it to be. Aug 15, 2019 at 19:39

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