President Vladimir Putin’s hopes and ambitions to see Russia return to take its place among the leading industrialised nations are fading fast as the country heads for recession. ‘Hard decisions’ need to be taken to rein in its spending and cut budgets, according to his Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Russia is at a crossroads and it is the global price of oil which will determine its future.

<i>The Russian economy is heading for recession. The official forecast for 2013 GDP growth remains positive, at 1.8 per cent. But the economy has recorded six quarters of steady decline in growth and, measured from quarter to quarter, it is now negative. President Vladimir Putin has deman...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Mr Putin made additional promises in his campaign for the March 2012 presidential election concerning rises in pensions, increased wages for teachers and doctors, and a host of other pledges – despite warnings that such spending was not sustainable
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