In With the Old

The New York Times comments today on the Russian government’s lip-service to notions of innovation, modernization, its references to stamping out corruption and improving investor confidence, saying that Dmitry Medvedev is effectively just a new head on an old concept.  Read the full piece here

The problem is that we’ve heard this before. When Vladimir Putin moved into the Kremlin a decade ago he promised to ensure the rule of law and to tackle corruption. But under his watch there has been no progress toward an independent judiciary, and the corrupt bureaucracy has been allowed to expand.

It was under Mr. Putin that assets were taken from Yukos, Shell and BP. It was under Mr. Putin that a growing number of journalists such as Anna Politkovskaya were killed with impunity. It is little wonder, therefore, that investors are skeptical about new pledges to tackle rampant corruption or diversify the economy away from a raw-materials base.