Is Russia a re-emerging superpower?

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  • Russia- a re-emerging superpower?
    • By the end of Dec 1991, the USSR had completely collapsed. Its largest member, Russia is now fighting back as a future superpower.
    • Strengths
      • Has the world's largest known reserves of natural gas, and is the 2nd largest oil producer after Saudi.
        • These 2 commodities accounted for 60% of Russia's exports in 2007.
          • 4th  largest standing  military forces- used to annex Crimea in 2014.
            • Poverty has been in decline since 2000. In 1998, 40% of Russian's lived below the poverty line. Today, it's less 13%-.
              • The 2008 global recessionwas short-lived for Russia, compared to EU.
                • GDP is only 17% of the USA's
                  • Key economic player in its region and in oil/ gas/metal sectors.
                  • 1/7  the number of military aircraft that the US can deploy.
                    • Russia has an ambitious space programme funded to 2040
                      • Was the world's 15th largest car producer in 2010- 7% of worldwide production.
                        • Not as sucessful in manufacturing than China.
        • Best explains its inclusion in the BRIC's
    • Weaknesses
      • 1998 economic crisis led to a devaluation of Russia'a currency.
        • Falling oil prices coupled with Western sanctions over Russia's support for seperationists in Eastern Ukraine have left them vulnerable.
          • An 80% decline in investment in R's economy during 1990's caused old factories to halt economic production that fell by 50%- mass unemployment.
    • Threats
      • There's a timer on its superpower status as fossil fuels are finite.
        • Dopine threat and suspicion in Winter Olympics left a cultutral indednt.
          • EU and US economic sanctions ('freezing of assets')
        • High investment in the development of non-renewable, finite resources i.e. claiming areas of the Artic to exploit it.
    • Oppertunities
      • Growth of Chinese and Indian economies rises the demand for finite resources/energy which increases global prices.
        • Russia's energy reserves are now very valuable.
      • 50% stake in GAZPROM- controls 1/3 of World's natural gas reserves.
        • Profits increase government revenue
          • Growth of prices since 2004 and inflow of 'petro roubles' has changed Russia's power balance with its neighbours.
            • Sees itself as an energy superpower and energy security will be central to future relations.
              • A 'Eurasian Eunion'- President Putin raised the idea in his 2012 election campaign
                • R has unsucessfully tried to join the WTO for the last 18 years.
                  • This idea of a Eurasian customs union is seen as an attempt to promote regional trade in the absence of better access to global markets.
                    • "We propose a model of a powerful, supernatural union, capable of becoming one of the poles of the modern world."
    • The superpower model confirms that R isn't a superpower. It has retained some aspects of a superpower but no longer has key influence in the areas of economic and cultural power.
      • But, it does deserve its inclusion in the BRIC's.


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