Same Putin, different Russia.
This Sunday’s Russian parliamentary elections are more than just a rubber stamping of the country’s political system. They are a test of Vladimir Putin’s authority, days after he was booed at a televised martial arts event.
Why these elections matter.
The overall outcome of Sunday’s elections – with only tame parties standing in opposition to Putin – is not in doubt, but the specific results may signal that the Putin system is losing its legitimacy, just as he readies himself to retake the presidency (possibly until 2024). But Putin would not be returning to the same Russia as when he last held the presidency: buffeted by economic turbulence and fearful of stagnation, Russia is now post-BRIC. It no longer believes it shares the same power-trajectory as Brazil, India and China; instead, it thinks it is in relative decline with the West.
A new ECFR report, ‘Dealing with a post-BRIC Russia’ by Ben Judah, Jana Kobzova and Nicu Popescu, looks at the domestic and foreign policy constraints on a post-BRIC Russia that will shape Putin’s next presidency. It analyses how Europe should rethink its relationship with Moscow. The authors argue that:
A Spanish translation of the essay has been published by Journal Politica Exterior
“This report is an important analysis of where Russia stands today and what opportunities this brings for the EU. It will open a much-needed and interesting debate.”
Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy & Secretary-General of the Council of the EU; former Secretary General of NATO
“A very timely and much-needed document.”
Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia
“The report offers a shrewd assessment of Russia's recent achievements and failures - and a forecast of Russia's future challenges. A broader audience - both within and outside EU (including those within Russia) - will certainly benefit from this comprehensive and honest analysis of what Russia should, can, will and will not achieve in the coming years.”
Sergei Guriev, Rector of the New Economic School, Moscow
Notes to editors:
The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is the first pan-European think-tank. Launched in October 2007, its objective is to conduct research and promote informed debate across Europe on the development of coherent and effective European values based foreign policy.