After the near-certainty of President Vladimir Putin’s re-election in March, appointments and policies offer some hints as to his intentions.
In his mind, President Vladimir Putin has ‘made Russia great again’, or at least created enough stability to allow him to groom a successor for the 2024 election. Perceptions of success in Syria will boost Russia’s confidence that it is in some respect a match for the United States, and perhaps mitigate the hyper-sensitive responses that have led to conflict in Ukraine and tensions around other borders. However, Putin’s project will not be plain sailing: Russia remains over-dependent on its oil and gas, the economy is unlikely to grow at more than a sluggish pace, and demographic decline will drag down productivity.
- Does the shape of the new government and a tough pension reform demonstrate that the free-market policy camp has defeated the ‘statists’, security services and corporate interests?
- Can Putin credibly assure his people that things are getting better given that they are not doing so at any high speed?
- When will Putin reveal his succession plan?
- Will Moscow re-engage with Europe as a counterpoint to China and prickly relations with the United States?
Professor of Russian and Eurasian International RelationsUniversity of Oxford
Lecturer in Russian GovernmentUniversity of Oxford
Advisor on Russian EconomicsOxford Analytica
Fellow, St Antony’s CollegeUniversity of Oxford