Russia's 2020 Strategic Economic Goals and the Role of International Integration

In the mind of Vladimir Putin, Russia is destined to be a world leader. Even in 1999, when Western powers—and most Russians themselves—had written the country off as bankrupt and chaotic, Putin envisioned the future Russia as politically stable and economically prosperous. To translate his ideas into a plan of action, then–Prime Minister Putin tasked German Gref, soon to be named minister of economic development and trade, with drafting a development strategy that was published on the eve of Putin’s presidency and came to be known as the “Millennium Statement.” Near the end of his presidency in 2007, Putin again tasked Gref to update the strategic plan, and the result was formulated into the “Concept of Long-term Socioeconomic Development of the Russian Federation,” which the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade published in September 2007.

The ultimate goal of the Concept is for Russia to become one of the world’s top five economies and establish itself as a leader in technological innovation and global energy infrastructure, as well as a major international financial center. By becoming a leading economic power, Russia can also improve domestic living conditions and safeguard its national security interests. Much more than a narrow domestic strategy, the Concept places Russia in an international context, where the rest of the world is treated either as a reference point or a vehicle for achieving its goals. Thus, Russia is intrinsically a part of the world community, using international economic integration to achieve domestic goals.

In this paper, the authors assess how efforts to implement the Concept may affect Russia’s ongoing integration into the global economy and, in particular, how trade and investment ties with Europe and the United States are envisioned to facilitate modernization and diversification of the Russian economy. The roles of the United States and Europe are also contrasted with those China and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the two other key vectors of Russian economic development to 2020.

This study is part of a series being published by the joint CSIS/IFRI project “Europe, Russia, and the United States: Finding a New Balance,” which seeks to reframe the trilateral relationship for the relevant policymaking communities.

Andrew C. Kuchins

Thomas Gomart

Amy Beavin and Anna Bryndza