Russia's economic modernization myth or reality?
Carson, Christopher B.
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A successful outcome of Russian President Medvedev's recent economic modernization plan, also known as "Smart Russia," could result in a more democratic and prosperous Russia. However, corruption and an energy dependent economy in Russia continue to exist as the main barriers in preventing substantial economic liberalization and a transition to a higher level of economic development. Failure by the Russian leadership to address these issues could result in future economic and political turmoil, potentially leading to a more fragile Russian state. The understanding of corruption within an energy dependent economy, and the international tools available in Russia's economic modernization process, are critical to establishing effective U.S. foreign policy and economic partnerships. To better understand the difficult steps that lie ahead for Russia, an economic statistical analysis, using global economic indexes, was conducted in a three scenario framework to determine which criteria Russia needs to improve in to ensure a transition to the next stage of economic development. The results of the analysis present crucial evidence for a successful economic transition. Failure by the U.S. and the West to adequately understand Russia's modernization challenges could result in a missed opportunity for future Russian political and economic liberalization.
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