It was a lousy balance sheet. You’re talking about short term debt that needs to be serviced in the interim, and eventually redeemed, relative to illiquid assets mostly in the form of real estate that the state needs to use for diplomatic purposes. Furthermore, those are cost centers as they need to be maintained and staffed. I understand that the former republics were left with no diplomatic facilities, but, for the tenth time, I’m not taking a stand on the fairness of this outcome. As it is, the debt and, arguably, a lot of those assets, were drags on Russia’s economic growth.
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