(Eurasia Review) A deep internal culture divide in Russia between traditionalists and European Russians encourages isolationism.
For Russia, the cost of sacrificing development for the sake of security and international status, a policy that the Kremlin pursued after 2012, is all too obvious and yet ignored. It is time to address the cultural roots of such a self-defeating approach and seek remedy.
Vladimir Putin’s re-election marked a change of the declared priorities of the Russian government. A new attempt at modernizing the economy and social institutions is in the cards. The new cabinet has been instructed to sponsor technological innovation and digital technologies, promote diversification by creating export-oriented industries, and ensure that Russians live longer and better. In acknowledging that technological backwardness ultimately makes the country less stable and secure, Putin follows the path of previous leaders from Peter I and Alexander II to Mikhail Gorbachev. This time, however, Russia will attempt a breakthrough on its own: Dmitry Medvedev’s experiment with the Russia–EU “Partnership for Modernization” is not to be repeated. The current conflict with the West is too intense to allow for another attempt. […]
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