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Tuesday 22.08.2017 | Name days: Rudīte, Everts

One year passes since Putin's election as President of Russia

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Vladimir Putin

The country stands out with an irrelevant court policy, its state management system is too complex, the level of corruption is too high, and it is possible to change laws at court and in an indirect way within the business environment, as stated in Coca Cola‘s report on risks for foreign investors. In this report, Russia is put on the same level with Nigeria.

A similar report was compiled by Pepsi one year ago. According to Russian experts, Vladimir Putin’s third term and with it related political protests and tension within society are increasing concerns over Russia’s future perspectives, Latvian Radio reports.

Last year’s presidential elections came along with massive protests from the opposition against Vladimir Putin’s repeated presidency. Many experts were certain that Putin will continue his policy and political stagnation would come; protests would continue and/or grow stronger. However, one year later, politologist Karlis Dauksts is certain – after Vladimir Putin’s return to politics, the situation has changed rapidly.

“Putin has created a new element, which touches the activities of Russia’s elite. It can be called a democracy with signs of manual control – when the management is carried out not systematically, but by using orders. Secondly, he reduced the opposition fairly successfully. The opposition that could have come forth with specific proposals for Russia has reduced,” – Dauksts said in an interview to Latvian Radio.

The politologist also believes that corruption scandals on the highest levels of the government show that Putin wants to show himself not as the protector of the elite, but as a disciplinary controller. Director of the Latvian Foreing Policy Institute Andris Spruds, on the other hand, believes that it will be hard for putting to hold power until 2024 without serious internal shakes, because some part of the population is not satisfied with the “nut tightening policy”. “A part of Russian business is dissatisfied. This is shows by voting with legs, so to say, and voting with wallets – people no longer keep their money in Russia. This kind of flight serves as a confirmation to the fact that nut tightening could lead to a reduction of opportunities for business and democracy,” – he believes.

The name Russia has been voiced rather often in the context of foreign policy in the last year. This is mainly dues to the tension in relations with USA, and its anti-Russia Magnitsky Act, as well as due to the recent prohibition for adoption of Russian children by American families as a response to the Magnitsky Act. Spruds believes Russia is trying to hide internal dissatisfaction with this move.

“When the internal political state has problems, the easiest way out is to find an external enemy, which is a mobilizing factor,” – Spruds said.

Dauksts also believes that Russia can expect some discounts in resolutions of arguable questions, because of the new presidential administration in USA and its plans to concentrate its foreign policy on Asia. However, it is too soon to speak about improvements in relations between the two countries. Russia is likely to try and hold or protect its positions on the Syria issue, because this will largely affect the county’s position in the Arab world.

And even though the Russian government notes that the first year of Putin’s third term can be called a year of successful reforms, the popularity of the president continues to drop. While 63.3% of residents gave their votes for him in 2012, only 32% of Russian citizens are prepared to do so now.


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