With the new president Vladimir Putin taking office in March 2000, there has been an array of predictions that acceleration of the economic reform process, accompanied by the strengthening of the state, would result in fast economic growth. In this memo I play the role of devil's advocate, with the aim to:
• identify the most important barriers to growth;
• provide evidence that these barriers are too serious to be quickly eliminated; and
• contribute to the discussion of how these barriers could eventually be overcome.