Shoppers in Moscow enjoy Russia's buoyant economy  (photo:dpa)

Geopolitics: Is Russia banking too much on strong energy prices?

The wave of petrodollars flowing into Russia’s coffers as global oil prices spiked gave new life to the economy. But is the Kremlin banking too much on energy revenue and choosing to ignore urgent fundamental reforms to the economy? asks GIS expert Professor Stefan Hedlund.

WHEN Vladimir Putin was elected president of the Russian Federation, in March 2000, he hit the ground running.

The first term of his presidency was marked by a vigorous agenda which included long-debated tax reform and land reform, as well as a number of measures designed to restore political order and stability.

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Complacency was spreading. Russia felt it could surf comfortably on the wave of incoming petrodollars. Why go through all the trouble of upsetting powerful vested interests, when things appeared to be going so well?
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