Either Brains Save Russia, or…
720 views   /  3 Mar 2016
When you look at Russia’s foreign policy, Moscow acts like a bold defender of the weak and a righter of wrongs, fighting international terrorism in Syria. But look at the inside of the country, and a completely different picture unfolds. What could be the way out?
By Andrey Shashkov
In light of Western sanctions, Russian ministers have been trying to calm down the concern of the nation fretting over the deteriorating economic reality. Prices are growing, salaries are stuck at the level of 2013 and have in fact lost a significant chunk of their real value, companies fire employees… Surprisingly, a fresh study has found out that people are likely to tolerate a two or three-time decrease in their salaries and still stick with their jobs – they have no alternative, unfortunately.
In deed and not in word, the Russian economy had not been flourishing before the imposition of sanctions, to put it lightly. It was developing discouragingly slowly, so the West’s move may be the last straw. A more robust economy would survive this external impact much better.
Russia has its Reserve and National Welfare Funds which it had accumulated during Vladimir Putin’s presidency for a rainy day before oil prices took a nosedive. So this day came, and it is raining heavily. The funds will run out within two years. So practically, if Russia fails to restructure its economy, and the sanctions stay on, after two years we may witness a hard touchdown.
The reason for such a dire situation stems from the perestroika (“restructuring”), better understood as “destruction”. Russia has never managed to build anything more efficient on the ashes of the Soviet economy, and now we feel its blowback.
The most worrying point is that the government does not seem to have a clear strategy to overcome the situation.
So in these particular circumstances, I think, the best and only solution will be to delegate more authority to the Russian Academy of Sciences. Russia has always been strong in its intellectual potential, and it’s ridiculous that the nation’s best brains are locked in their labs, barred from deciding the country’s fate. Scientists spend dozens of years toiling over breakthrough solutions in all fields of knowledge including economy. A scientist who devoted his life studying economy surely understands it better than an official who spent five years at university studying something else.
The president should probably consult the Academy of Sciences and transfer its strategies to the government as a masterplan.
Standing on the brink of an abyss, there’s no time for mistakes. A wrong step may be fatal. It’s time to use brains and avoid the trap.
Disclaimer: the views and opinions contained in this article are those of the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of Russian Accent.
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