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The Political And Economic Results Of August 2013

Listed author(s):
  • Sergey Zhavoronkov

    (Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy)

In August, Victor Ishaev was dismissed from his post as Russia’s Minister for the Development of the Far East – his extravagantly costly approaches to solving the region’s problems without having made even a feeble attempt at setting any priorities, had finally infuriated both the RF Government and President Putin. The Ministry for the Development of the Far East had been subject to strong criticism on a number of issues, and the latest flooding in the Russian Far East was apparently the last straw. Russia became embroiled in an acute conflict with Belarus, a country heavily subsidized from the RF budget. The crisis in relations between the two countries was sparked by Belarus’ having initiated repressions against Russian businesses – apparently in hope of blackmailing Russia into further increasing her aid to Minsk. Belarus’s trump card in this latest gamble is the Russian political leadership’s reluctance to risk their electoral prospects by admitting the de-facto disintegration of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Russia made energetic attempts at preventing the conclusion of a free trade agreement between Ukraine and the EU – the Kremlin made it clear that such an agreement was incompatible with the principles of the Customs Union. In the ‘far-abroad’, Russia was gradually improving her international standing and prestige against the backdrop of the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, by her insistence that any use of force on the part of external players could lead to unpredictable and dire consequences. Russia’s position on that matter was (and is) shared not only by some Arab countries, but also by a number of NATO’s member states. Yet another benefit brought to Russia by the current aggravation of the situation around Syria is the growth of prices for energy carriers and the corresponding rise in the revenues of Russia’s budget.

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Article provided by Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy in its journal Russian Economic Developments.

Volume (Year): (2013)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
Pages: 2-4

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Handle: RePEc:gai:recdev:197
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