Briefing Paper

Briefing Paper 21 (2008)   ISBN 978-951-769-209-0

The sustainability of Russia's resurgence

Published 1.9.2008

Mikko Patokallio
Finnish Institute of International Affairs

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In recent years, Russia’s resurgence has been driven by favourable conditions rather than solid foundations.

Despite the favourable conditions, Russia’s resurgence has only achieved mixed results. Buoyed by economic growth, Russia has become wealthy, assertive and confident; but the country has also alienated and provoked its neighbours and the West.

Sustaining these conditions is unlikely due to problems resulting from Russia’s internal structural weaknesses and assertive foreign policy.

Without change, these problems are likely to worsen. Energy exports – the cornerstone of Russia’s resurgence – are set to decline. The end of this boom threatens Russia’s domestic stability and ability to tackle other long-term threats as external resistance to Russia hardens.