Paranoid, mischievous and heading in the wrong direction, Russia is an awkward prospect for Barack Obama.
THE last time Barack Obama was in Russia, he and Senator Dick Lugar were detained by border guards for several hours at an airport in the Urals, where they were looking at how American funds were helping to get rid of stocks of dangerous Soviet-era weapons. Americas president has every reason to hope things will go better this time, but that is not setting a very high hurdle for success. Of all the great power relationships Mr Obama inherited from George Bush, Russia is the most awkwardawkward not only because it has been getting ever harder to deal with but also because it cannot be ignored.
Over the past ten years, under Vladimir Putins leadership, Russia has become more nationalistic, corrupt and corporatist. Its economy, although much bigger than a decade ago, is even more dependent on oil and gas, an industry now controlled by a small group of kleptocratic courtiers and former spies. The decision by Ikea, a well-known Swedish furniture supplier once bullish about Russia, to suspend investment because of graft is an indictment of the dire commercial climate (see article). Its non-energy exports are smaller than Swedens…
To my own opinion the ZEIEGEIST Movie better explanes the situation.
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