Strategic thinking Vladimir Putin previously boasted has completely disappeared, and the Russian regime is no longer talking about the future. The statements of the Russian leadership are focused on the conflict with Ukraine and the West and refer to the heroic past of Russia. The regime is now completely focused on its own survival. This was stated by Sergei Guriev, the former rector of the Russian School of Economics and Professor of Economics at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, in an article for The Washington Post, Joinfo.ua reports.
“This has not always been the case. In 2000, Vladimir Putin went to the Kremlin with a 10-year “Gref program” that included a vision of Russia as an open and modern country,” the economist says. “Long-term development strategies – mostly based on this vision – were discussed and updated until 2012,” the article reads.
“The regime is right to worry about its immediate future. The Russian economy is in recession and is unlikely to grow at more than 2 percent per year even when – or if – the recession ends,” Guriev believes.
“At some point, this regime will have to go, and it is not clear at all what will replace it, how turbulent the transformation will be and whether Russia will ultimately emerge as a democratic country,” the economist writes.
According to the author, the peaceful transition period is quite possible.
“But is also clear that the top figures in the regime are unlikely to readily surrender their hold on power. They are scared of being brought to justice for crimes against international law and humanity, and for grand corruption within Russia. The best scenario one can hope for is some form of transitional government that would provide certain guarantees to the outgoing elites and oversee new elections,” Guriev predicts.
“Eventually, Russia’s destiny will be decided by Russians. But the West can still play a role. With a Marshall Plan-style program, it can contribute to shaping a new Russia by helping to rebuild an economy destroyed by corruption; supporting governance, education and health-care reforms; and investing in Russia’s infrastructure. Most important, the West should articulate a path for reintegrating Russia into the free world,” the author writes.