JRL NEWSWATCH: “CCW Russia Brief Issue 2: Playing it Safe: Continuity Through the ‘New’ May Decrees and ‘New’ Government” – Oxford University/Changing Character of War Centre (CCW)/Richard Connolly

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“Russia’s recovery from the recession of 2015-16 suffered an unexpected setback at the end of 2017. After registering modest but uninterrupted growth from the end of 2016 to the middle of last year, and despite rising oil prices, seasonally adjusted GDP fell in the final quarter of 2017, according to Rosstat data, due to an unexpected decline in fixed investment and a slump in industrial production. Thus recorded annual growth in 2017, which had been expected to reach close to 2%, instead came in at 1.5% – a surprisingly tepid rate of expansion given Russia has historically registered much faster growth when recovering from recessions (i.e. after 1998 and 2009). The first months of 2018 do not augur well for those hoping that growth might accelerate to a rate closer to the global average. …
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So far, continuity not change characterises both economic performance and policy in Russia. For some, this is disappointing. Given the external and internal challenges facing the country’s leadership, however, this inertia should not be surprising. Periods of radical change in Russia tend to be associated with upheaval and, more often than not, regression and a diminishment of Russia’s place in the world. As such, it should come as no surprise that the leadership appears intent on employing safe but unspectacular measures to preserve the country’s independent position and ability to conduct a ‘sovereign’ foreign policy, rather than embark on risky efforts to accelerate economic growth.”

[Link not yet available; check back later for link to: “CCW Russia Brief Issue 2: Playing it Safe: Continuity Through the ‘New’ May Decrees and ‘New’ Government” – Oxford University/Changing Character of War Centre (CCW)/Richard Connolly]