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01 March 2012

Russia: The Great Dilemma faced by Putin

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Interesting article on Russia, its (corrupt) economy and the great dilemma faced by Putin the day after this weekend's election:


"Should Mr Putin choose instead the path of reform, he could start by promising not to run yet again in 2018, and also by offering to hold a fresh parliamentary election. He could—as he promised in a recent series of newspaper articles that read like an election manifesto—establish the rule of law and reform the economy. He could reinstate wholly free elections for regional governors as a step towards greater decentralisation of power. He could release Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed former boss of the Yukos oil company. And instead of Mr Medvedev, his pawn, he could choose as prime minister a relative liberaliser such as Alexei Kudrin, a former finance minister who has sought to engage the protesters.

Such reforms would lead, one way or another, to the diminution of Mr Putin’s power. But so, in a different way, would repression. If he cannot bring himself to reform the state or the economy, if he cannot harness middle-class desire for change, if he cannot see the demonstrations as anything more than a threat to be contained and crushed, then the prospect for President Putin’s next term is grim indeed: protest, disillusion, repression and economic stagnation. Russia would be diminished, and so would its leader.

A wise man with a sense of his own destiny would now be thinking carefully about his legacy and his successor. Mr Putin has not displayed much wisdom in his time in power, but he is no fool. He faces a momentous choice, and history will not look kindly on him if he makes the wrong one."


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Starting January 30, 2012, I decided to put the random (economic) thoughts that I was posting on Facebook, in a blog. In this site you will be able to read all Facebook notes going back to 2008, (without my Friend’s comments, unfortunately), but we will only maintain the new thoughts. If you want to check out the old comments, they are still posted on Facebook. If you want to comment on them, you have two options (1) Become a Facebook Subscriber. Since all the posts will also appear in Facebook, you will be able to comment there. (2) Comment on Twitter, as each post will also be announced in Twitter.