Russia: Four Things to Watch in 2018

  • Rusia
  • 0
  • 493 Views
  • 22 December 2017

1. Putin’s Probable Re-election

The 2018 presidential election is not so much about who will win, but who will later succeed Putin. According to the Russian constitution, Putin has one six-year term remaining. By the end of this term (2024), he will be in his 70s.

There appears no obvious successor emerging in the background. However, Putin himself was never expected to succeed Boris Yeltsin. This has led many commentators to suspect that someone relatively unknown, loyal and stable will emerge unexpectedly. Another reason for this is the unpopularity of those who are already in positions of power and close to the president.

One name that has been floated around is the former Duma speaker, Sergei Naryshkin. A man, who, you guessed it, is practically unknown, cautious and was recently appointed to head the foreign intelligence service. He also served in the KGB in the 1970s. He is someone the Russians would like as he fits the mold of ‘effective manager’.

Either way, this might be of little consequence. The most important task for the next president is whether they can maintain social stability. The last 100 years of Russian history shows that the situation can unravel overnight. This is something everybody in Russia is fearful of and hopes to avoid.

2. The Football World Cup

I am quite the optimist here. England should qualify top of their group and Russia might squeeze through in second place. Something I am more optimistic about is the opportunity Russia has to show itself off.

Despite what many of you have read and heard on the news, Russia is full of many wonderful things. The games are being hosted in eleven great cities, each quite different from the next. This gives Russia the opportunity to show the world it is more than a negative news headline.

Russia can use the games to show off its long history, rich culture and diverse peoples. Especially since nobody expects Russia to be walking away as the winners. In fact, they are one of the lowest ranked teams in the tournament.

In the long-run, the games will hopefully generate more interest and bring in more tourists with money to spend.

However, football hooligans are a special breed in Russia and the authorities have responded to this. Security will be heightened and known groups and individualshave been banned from the games.

3. The Economy

This performed better than expected in 2017 despite additional sanctions. The ruble is performing better and has remained relatively stable, but the business climate for 2018 is quite uncertain.

Firstly, a new round of sanctions could be placed on Russia. The ‘Russia investigation’ being conducted by Congress will conclude at some point, and the outcome is eagerly awaited. While the Kremlin has dismissed all claims of collusion, the US and UK cites evidence of attempts to interfere with recent elections. Both have promised to respond accordingly.

Elsewhere, poverty has risen and local budgets are under immense pressure. In fact, most regions have been running fiscal deficits for the last three years. If the economy performs better than expected again, it would be ideal if additional funds went to the poorest regions. If people’s incomes continue to stagnate in 2018, this runs the risk of social unrest.

4. Ukraine, Syria and North Korea

When it comes to Ukraine and Syria, Russia cannot afford to come away looking as though it lost or conceded anything.

Ukraine’s situation has not improved even by the most optimistic of estimations. There is simply no cease-fire in the East and the government is a shambles. The West has no coherent strategy, and pro-Russian feelings are rising as Petro Poroshenko’s approval ratings decline. The question now is whether to rock the boat or let it unfold organically.

In Syria, Russia and the US will have to find a solution that likely involves Mr. Assad remaining in power, if only temporarily. In addition, some of Russia’s Muslims who left to join ISIS will be returning. The threat of terrorism could spike in a year when the world’s eyes are already on Russia. Its response will have to be methodical.

Russia’s relationship with North Korea is like the friend nobody else wants you to hang outwith. Moreover, when people want to talk about this friend’s problems, you would really rather not.

Russia will not work against China or pressure it into ‘doing something’, as Mr. Trump would say. However, neither can a solution arise without the cooperation of Russia. Should the situation get progressively worse, Russia will be forced to have a discussion it has long tried to avoid.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prof. Evgeny Pashentsev spoke on “Artificial Intelligence and Issues of National and International Psychological Security” at the round table at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

  • 0
  • 143 Views
  • 9 December 2018

On 28th of November 2018 at the MFA RF was held a round table "Freedom of Expression in the Digital Environment in the Context of Discussion of International Information Security Issues at Specialized International Platforms". It was organized by the Information and Press Department (IPD) at the MFA RF, MIA "Russia Today" (RossiyaSegodnya), Russian Committee of UNESCO Program "Information for All" and the Interregional Library Cooperation Centre. Two plenary sess

citește mai mult

A Russian History Lesson

  • 0
  • 665 Views
  • 7 September 2018

History has long been an object of reform since the collapse of the USSR. It has been used as an impetus for championing democratic change and explaining the chaos of the Russian Federation’s first decade. In addition, it is an important part of Vladimir Putin’s policy rhetoric to champion Russia’s ‘great powerness’ (derzhavnost’).

In the last twenty-eight years, history in schools has journeyed from one single view en

citește mai mult

Russia – four paintings from July

  • 0
  • 825 Views
  • 20 July 2018

The World Cup Is Over – What’s Next For Russia?

This was a successful world cup on many fronts. The Russian people showed the world a different side to themselves often overlooked in the media – one that was welcoming, warm and hospitable. It was a world cup where some of the ‘non-traditional’ broke through. It was well organised and greatly received by the fans at home and abroad.

citește mai mult

Azebaijan, cheia geostrategică a Asiei Centrale

  • 0
  • 712 Views
  • 13 February 2018

După destrămarea URSS, Azerbaijanul a fost statul ex-sovietic care alături de    republicile Baltice a avut o dezvoltare constantă și durabilă. Desigur, aici pot fi adresate unele critici regimului de la Baku cu privire la democrație, care în opinia multor analiști este doar mimată la Baku. Însă faptul adevărat este că acest stat a reușit să își gestioneze eficient resursele de care dispune pentru a deveni o societate prosperă. I se atribuie Azerbaijanului etichet

citește mai mult

What Can Democrats Learn From Alabama’s Doug Jones?

  • 0
  • 825 Views
  • 30 November 2017

In ordinary circumstances, Doug Jones would already be preparing to move to Washington DC. The former prosecutor famous for convicting KKK members for a church bombing is up against gay bashing, God and gun lovin’, twice kicked out of elected office, Judge Roy Moore. A man who has eight accusers of sexual assault, all of whom were underage at the time of the allegations.

Yet, if one looks at all the recent polls, they show a ti

citește mai mult

Azerbaidjanul, petrolul și românii

  • 0
  • 1240 Views
  • 7 October 2016

Întotdeauna, statele sunt nevoite să își apere poziția pe marea tablă a geopoliticii, uitându-se cu grijă la vecini, dar și la puterile regionale. Această regulă presupune nu doar poziția ofensivă, ci și valorificare atuurilor, astfel încât să devină piese care contează pe „câmpul de analiză”, iar nu elemente neglijabile, care sunt măturate dintr-o dată de cei ce au suficientă putere să mânuiască piesele.

Caucazul, ca regiune geopolitică, nu face nici ea excepție

citește mai mult

Chinese Psychological Warfare in Countering Domestic Challenges

  • 0
  • 116 Views
  • 19 December 2018

Introduction

The People’s Republic of China is considered to be an emerging geopolitical power in the world. Firstly, it has the second-largest economy in term of nominal GDP and its economic power is one of the most influential[1]. Secondly, in addition to the military power – according to GlobalFirepower.com – is the third after the US and Russia; China is becoming also p

citește mai mult

What are Europeans Thinking about Britain?

  • 0
  • 137 Views
  • 14 December 2018

Something that the British deserve some credit for is their lack of care for how other countries perceive them. Rarely does it tickle our curiosity and we are unapologetic about it. If it did bother us, the tourist hotspots of Marbella, Benidorm, Zante, Napa and the like would be unrecognisable today. Historically speaking, few Britons also want reminding of slavery or atrocities in the colonies.

This is down to both an unabash

citește mai mult

Falii și axe geopolitice de impact pentru securitatea globală (III)

  • 0
  • 341 Views
  • 19 October 2018

  1. Rolul Japoniei în regiune și în plan global

Poziţionarea contemporană a Japoniei – rolul său politic în lume – nu corespunde puterii sale economice. Condiţiile politice impuse de către Statele Unite Japoniei, la mijlocul secolului XX, dar şi prudenţa liderilor politici şi a popoarelor din statele care au fost ocupate de Japonia militaristă îi limitează guvernului de la Tokyo libertatea în elab

citește mai mult