(Russia Direct) Even though most experts agree that 2016 is hardly likely to see a political crisis or large-scale protests in Russia, the risks remain high if the economic situation continues to be volatile and unpredictable. Against the backdrop of worsening signs for Russia’s economy, an increasing number of officials, economists, sociologists and political experts are becoming more pessimistic about the country’s political future.
At last week’s Gaidar Economic Forum, which was held at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) in Moscow from Jan. 13-15, two expert discussions — “Russia in Crisis: Political Risks in 2016” and“Political Trends: Assessment, Analysis, Forecast” — brought together Russia’s leading experts to discuss the political and economic future of the country.
Some experts predict that the economic crisis will lead to a political one, with numerous protests becoming a reality in September 2016, both during and after Russia’s parliamentary elections. Others, however, question such a scenario, predicting social unrest in perhaps three or four years. […]
Nikolai Petrov, a professor at the Higher School of Economics, believes that it is hardly likely: The Kremlin will try to avoid fraud during the elections to prevent protests because the situation during a period of economic crisis remains unpredictable and volatile.
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