Putin and the Modernization of Russia – a Chimera?
Simon Commander, Irina Denisova, and Natalia Volchkova, CEFIR
Vladimir Putin is once more the Russian President and a new government has been formed consisting of most of the same faces and mentality. Putin's victory looks complete – yet there is a very real risk that it will be Pyrrhic. Even if the 'managed' political and economic system – rooted in a lack of competition and openness – that has been his defining project can remain stable, it will continue to sap the country's vitality. In the election campaign, even Putin acknowledged the country's lack of modern and competitive industries, as well as a business environment plagued by corruption, cronyism and excessive regulation. Yet, in calling for further modernisation of the economy, Putin has also called for more of the same policies, notably a central role for the Russian state in supporting new industries and technological leadership; a newly established State Corporation for Siberia and the Far East is a case in point.
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