JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Wake-Up Call for Russia” – The Hill/ William Courtney

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

“… So why is the [Russian] economy stagnating? Oil prices are below previous peaks, but factors under Moscow’s control are structural barriers and geopolitical tensions. First … state-owned companies tend to be less productive …. Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service says … prior to the 1998 financial crisis the state’s share of the economy was about 25 percent of GDP, but by 2017-18 it may have risen to 60-70 percent of GDP. …. A second problem is barriers to business activity. In the World Justice Project’s Rule-of-Law index Russia, ranks in the bottom one-third ….  A third structural factor is geopolitics. … Fourth, Russia has imposed substantial budget austerity, a prudent measure in an uncertain economic climate, but one that has depressed aggregate demand. … Deep reforms … may be required ….”

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