An Unpredictable Year for Russia

Writing on a Russia Profile experts panel, Stephen A. Blank predicts some tough times ahead for Dmitry Medvedev’s reform attempts in 2010.

Thus as 2012 draws closer into view, we should expect more visible signs of a struggle, though hardly a linear one, rather something more inchoate, over the future course of the country and the election.

Putin’s intervention into the START talks on December 29 and his previous foreign policy gambits against Medvedev, (e.g. the WTO, Latin American policy, Igor Sechin’s takeover of energy policy in Asia), suggest that we will not see a stable or predictable line on anything for some time to come.

Meanwhile, it is clear that the economy needs decisive measures, but it is quite unlikely that they will come easily, if at all.