Could Trump help revive Russia’s economy?
The cornerstone of Vladimir Putin’s strategy for political longevity has been his projection of Russia as a besieged fortress fighting off the menacing encroachment of the US and other western powers. By presenting himself as the only leader capable of protecting Russia from those who seek to undermine her, the authoritarian president has skilfully managed to distract his people from the rapidly deteriorating economic conditions that would doubtless sink the leader of a more democratic country. But the cost of maintaining a war footing is considerable, with massive spending on defence depriving the rest of the economy of much needed state support. Putin understands this well and Donald Trump’s election might provide him with an opportunity to rebalance public expenditure. Read more