The United States, and indeed the world, can temporarily discount Russia as an economic power. The country is virtually falling to its knees. Experts predict Russian GDP will contract by 4.2% this year. The reason for this decline is apparent, a litany of problems. Among them is the reduction in the price of oil by 45% these past six months, sanctions have taken a heavy toll, the severe 50% devaluation of the ruble, and its continuing European dispute over Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. And there is more bad news to come, as the economy worsens.
The murder last week of Mr. Nemtsov, a prominent opposition leader has drawn attention to the anti-Putin movement apparently growing and has expanded its voice in the West as well as domestically. The Ukraine dilemma, in a previous article, I suggested Putin should have invaded industrial-mineral rich Eastern Ukraine shortly after the…
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