Friday, April 24, 2020

The repercussions of the oil glut on russian foreign policy

The magazine The American Interest analyzes the impact of the oil glut on strategic aspects of russian foreign policy: 

"While the economic pain may have yet to cross Putin’s threshold, Russia, like every other country, will succumb to this new reality. Putin’s official popularity ratings have dropped to the low 60 percent range and, perhaps more importantly, for over a year polls have shown that a large majority of the Russian people think the country is going in the wrong direction. They also think that more resources should be spent on domestic problems and that Russia should pursue policies that improve relations with the West.
Putin, of course, is no democrat; he can choose to ignore public opinion. But with oil prices at inconceivable lows, the Kremlin will have to make serious decisions on where to invest what will be increasingly limited resources. Russia’s military has historically been more active when fossil fuel energy prices soar and less so when they fall. When the economic crunch hits, Russia tends to cut back on training and exercises (often with devastating consequences) before it disrupts actual operations. But this is no ordinary shift in market forces. It is a combination of Putin’s hubris in starting an oil war he thought he could win combined with a crisis nobody saw coming. Something will have to give. Recovery will be difficult for almost every country, but especially so for a country almost solely dependent on carbon earnings."

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

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