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Tue. October 16, 2018
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Commentators share their thoughts on the state of the Russian economy and the influence of the Kremlin and respond to the statement: For in reality, Russian financial confidence is solely the result of cash brought in from strong oil and natural gas prices - something largely beyond the Russians' ability to manipulate - not the result of any restructuring of the Russian system. As such, the revelation that the emperor has no clothes - that Russia is still a complete financial mess - is more a blow to Moscow's ego than a signal of a fundamental change in the reality of Russian power. Lauren Goodrich and Peter Zeihan, "The Financial Crisis and the Six Pillars of Russian Strength," Stratfor Geopolitical Intelligence Report (2009) (05/11/2009)

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Leonid Karabeshkin, EuroUniversity

Response: The implications of this economic crisis will really not be as catastrophic for Russia as they were in 1998. First of all, this crisis is a global one, and similar problems are seen in many other countries. Moreover, the forecasts for some neighbouring states are even worse than for Russia. Even the degree of devaluation is comparable with those of the greatest post-Soviet Republics (Kazakhstan, U... more

Julian Cooper, University of Birmingham

Response: There is no dispute that the global financial-economic crisis is having a significant impact on Russia, and not just on the country’s financial strength. Output is likely to fall by 3-6 per cent in 2009 and may not recover until 2011. In the first quarter of the year both industry and investment have contracted by about 15 per cent, unemployment is already approaching 10 per cent, and living stand... more

Alexander Livshin, Moscow State University

Response: The current world economic crisis has struck Russia when the nation was at the peak of its newly-acquired self-confidence and revival of a superpower rhetoric and mentality. All of a sudden, it has turned out that the prosperity of the previous few years was pretty shaky and the country was far from being sustainable in terms of its economic and social development. Industrial production in the fir... more

Padma Desai, Colombia University

Response: Sir Tony Barber, in his article “Precarious podium” (March 19), brought out the differences between the US and the European Union and within the EU itself on issues relating to the size of the stimulus package for dealing with the global recession and the problem of bailing out overleveraged banks in EU member countries that have over-borrowed in hard currencies (including the euro).

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