Valdai think tank sees trouble for Putin uniting '3 differing Russias'
25.10.12 15:48 By Pyotr Kanaev, edited by Karina Ayvazova
The growth of Russia's economy depends only on reforms, and these reforms depend only upon Vladimir Putin, think experts from the Valdai discussion club. The Valdai club is a thinktank created by RIA Novosti, whose members are experts in various fields from all over the world.
The Valdai club is expected to meet with President Putin this Thursday. Many in the club belive that there is not enough political power to make the changes: Putin has to unite 'three different Russias,' yet only one of these Russias is interested in reforms. This 'First Russia' includes the big cities, residents of which work in private companies and are focused on international experience. It is 20% of Russia's population according to a Vladai expert asked by the Financial Times.
The 'Second Russia' includes employees of state-owned companies, corporations, government agencies, etc. The 'Third Russia includes citizens receiving social assistance from the state and those who expect to receive it in the future.
High oil prices will not ensure quick growth rates for Russia's economy, claim experts from the Valdai Club. According to their research, Russia's GDP growth between 2012 and 2030 will not exceed 3.1%
On top of this, the average decline of oil prices
The global growth in this period will not go lower than 3.7%, forecast economists of the Valdai club. This means that Russia's share in the world economy will gradually decline.
The reasons of this are quite predictable and 'traditional:' an unhealthy climate for businesses, a lack of possibilities for investors, and political stagnation.
"Russia has become an exporter of oil, money, and people," the Financial times quotes a Valdai club economist as saying.
Valdai club experts' recommendations do not differ from those which are included in the agenda of official ministerial meetings: to guarantee the work of laws, to protect private property, to fight corruption, to form and develop democratic institutions and market economy, to provide competitiveness in business and politics.
But there is no real development in this direction, despite a series of political declarations, think Valdai club economists.
"We all depend on the willpower and thoughts of one man," one of the economists admitted.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has to balance different social groups, as their interests differ. One of the sociologists who took part in a recent meeting of the Valdai club said that Vladimir Putin seems be able to unite the "three different Russias."
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