The Western media is estimating the Annual Address to the Federal Assembly. For example, here is a quote from the Spanish newspaper El Pais: "Vladimir Putin will accumulate foreign policy challenges. But any of them can be more or less controlled, the same cannot be said for a profoundly ill Russian economy which is in deep decline due to the declining oil prices and the exchange rate of the rouble that lost 40% of its value within one year. That designates a winter of discontent in the streets of Russia". General Director of Autonomous Nonprofit Organization "Center for Strategic Assessments and Forecasts" Sergey Grinyaev commented the conclusion of the Spanish media in an interview to Pravda.Ru.
"As for the Russian economy, the situation is rather complicated since for the past years its dependence on export supplies of hydrocarbons has been more than 60%. And there has been no essential steps to diversify pumping up the budget for the past 10-15 years. In other words, all efforts aimed at a growth of economic sectors not related to mining have unfortunately failed. The Russian economy still greatly depends on oil and gas. Fluctuations on this market have substantial effect on both the economy and the country's budget in general. As for social discontent, the western journalists are somewhat exaggerating the situation," Sergey Grinyaev said in the interview to Pravda.Ru.
The expert pointed out that the existing foreign policy situation is first of all related to the conflict in the south-east of Ukraine and subsequent introduction of sanctions, return of Crimea to Russia. According to Grinyaev, these foreign policy steps allowed the Russian society to consolidate and show a united front against the West in general.
"The economy is indeed in dire straits and requires changes. On the other hand, I see no circumstances that would enable the growth of social unrest in particular. It can be enabled only by unreasonable and incompetent actions of authorities, first of all, municipal ones. For example, nothing good came out of actions of Moscow authorities towards the healthcare reform that was ill-timed and improperly implemented, except for a buildup of tension among healthcare workers in Moscow. If there are no such rash measures, then there will not be such hype and tension," Grinyaev noted.
The Pravda.Ru correspondent asked the analyst to comment Bloomberg's quote: "The "good part" of Putin's address is that he said he'd like a reduced government role in the economy and more freedom for business activity, said Luis Saenz, head of equity sales and trading in London for Moscow-based BCS Financial Group. "The bad part is that Putin's recipe for overcoming the crisis is made mostly from general proclamations."
"I agree on this issue with the western journalist. Under such circumstances, it is extremely hard and ineffective to implement reforms. Moreover, an effort to change something amid the crisis may lead to rather negative results. Therefore, currently it is necessary to focus on anti-crisis management, adjust all government development programs and strategies adopted within recent years to be implemented before 2020, there were many of them. Taking into account new geopolitical realities and new state of the Russian economy, all these strategies will most likely not be implemented. It is necessary to suspend them until further notice, until economic situation and situation in the world in general is back to normal. And naturally in this context, anti-crisis management is needed," Sergey Grinyaev summarized.
Translation provided by TNC Freelancer Group