The past two years have seen the Russian economy placed under immense strain. The combination of persistently low energy prices and Western sanctions tied to the conflict in Ukraine led to a substantial devaluation of the ruble and significant fiscal problems, heightening already serious concerns about the long-term viability of Russia’s economic model. However, this period also saw official pronouncements of a Russian economic rebalance towards the vibrant, rapidly-developing, and energy-hungry countries of the Asia-Pacific, foremost among them China, with which Russia signed billions of dollars worth of energy supply agreements.
After two years of turmoil, what prospects does the Russian economy and its foundation, the energy sector, face? Are there reasons for optimism despite low energy prices and sanctions? What are the political implications of Russia’s economic downturn? And how does the revival of Russia as a power able – and willing – to project force beyond its borders, first in Ukraine and recently in Syria, affect the country’s economic future?
opening remarks by
Director and Senior Adviser, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS
Former Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia
Nonresident Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution
Former Deputy Energy Minister of the Russian Federation
President, Institute of Energy Policy in Moscow
Chairman, Democratic Choice political party in Russia
Member of the Russian State Duma
Nonresident Academy Associate, Chatham House
Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS