|Author (Person)||Saari, Sinikukka|
|Publisher||Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)|
|Series Title||FIIA Briefing Papers|
|Series Details||No.170, February 2015|
|Content Type||Journal | Series | Blog|
The traditional cornerstones of the popularity of the Putin regime – stability, growing prosperity, the increased status of Russia in international affairs – seem to be rapidly eroding, which has led many observers to predict major changes in Russia in the near future.
However, there are significant structural issues – alongside the mechanisms of 'political technology' and the outright oppression of dissent – that support and maintain the Putin regime, regardless of its malfunctioning and undisputed failings.
Even in the unlikely event of Putin suddenly disappearing from the political scene, significant hurdles remain for the restructuring of the Russian economy and political system. No major modernisation or reform mode is to be expected.
The EU and Finland should base their policies on a realistic assessment of Russia’s long-term trajectory. There are unlikely to be any shortcuts to success, and no western policy is likely to produce positive results in the short term. What is needed now is a long-term perspective and principled policies, while acknowledging that only the Russians can change Russia’s political direction.
|Countries / Regions||Europe, Finland, Russia|