Even Moscow is modeling a Grexit

The current euro zone crisis may look like a game of "Crazy Ivan,"* but the Russians are already considering the consequences of a Greek departure.

Elvira Nabiullina, governor of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), has told CNBC that it is analysing the threat: "We do consider this scenario as one of possible risks, which would increase turbulence in the financial markets in the European market, bearing in mind the fact the European Union is one of our major trading partners, and we are definitely worried by it."

People walk past a board showing currency exchange rates in Moscow.
Maxim Zmeyev | Reuters
People walk past a board showing currency exchange rates in Moscow.

The Russian economy is struggling for growth and this week just posted a 5.5 percent fall in industrial output in May. On top of sanctions and weaker oil prices, more aggressive demands for debt forgiveness in the southern European countries could have further negative consequences for Russia, says Governor Nabiullina.

"There is a possibility of this kind of sentiment becoming stronger, which could reduce the rate of the development of the recovery of the European economy, and bring down the demand for our products," she told CNBC.

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There are other reasons for the Russian's to keep a weather eye on the Greek story. Greece is a trading partner and the two countries share a spiritual bond. Even in the midst of the tense negotiations over a debt deal, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is scheduled to make a whistle-stop trip to St Petersburg on Friday for President Putin's annual showcase economic forum.

Alongside Greece, the CBR is also watching the U.S. Federal Reserve closely for market jitters should a September rate hike come.

Governor Nabiullina thinks markets "are expecting the normalization of the monetary policy," but is alive to the possibility of another taper tantrum.

"The markets may respond in a very nervous way, and then generally speaking through an increased global turbulence that may affect the Russian economy as well," she added.

However, the CBR's main scenario remains that there are no specific interest rate-related risks.

Having battled and subsequently beaten off speculators that halved the value of the ruble against the dollar last year, it has had its mettle tested. It has no intention of being blindsided by either a U.S. interest rate move or Grexit.

*My thanks to Teneo for reminding me of the submarine warfare strategy, first seen in "The Hunt For Red October," leading to a potential head-on collision.