The government this year will begin to implement unpopular decisions, which has long been postponed because of the elections, experts predict.
Don’t need to be Cassandra to predict the result of the upcoming March presidential elections in Russia.
Show completely… Obviously after they are in office we will see the same person who is at the helm of power in the country in fact since 1999. However, despite this, a number of factors some adjustments to the General line of the Russian leadership is possible. In this regard, the observer of “Rosbalt” has asked experts to predict what can be the changes. What will be the rate for the new (old) Russian authorities in domestic and foreign policy after the election in 2018?
“Based on the forecasting of public demand, it is now in Russia is that, on the one hand, there was no war and it would be quieter (than before), and on the other, the desire for change. However, what needs to change, people call vague (public) query is very amorphous,” says Vice-President of Fund “the Center of political technologies” Alexey Makarkin. “Some want to increase pensions and salaries, and others a bit more freedom,” he said.
At the same time in 2018-2019 it will be necessary to solve several problems, the analyst continues. “First of all, it is that unpopular reforms are still postponed. For example, at the last big press conference the President raised the issue of retirement age. Of course, it said that this problem will not be solved immediately, but everything is subsumed to the fact that it must be solved”, — said the expert. Makarkin reminds that “there are already arguments related to the fact that the current retirement age was set before the Second world war, after which life expectancy has increased and people are living longer.”
“In what form the issue will be resolved and how — there are different opinions. For example, there is the Ministry’s position, is the position of the social block of the government, but it is obvious that for a fourth presidential term something (with it) to do. Can also go through the benefits on early retirement — there’s a whole set of solutions, which previously was postponed from-for parliamentary, presidential elections”, — said the analyst.
“Another issue is tax increases. Despite the fact that now oil prices have increased 68 per barrel — it’s still not $ 140, as has happened in previous years. The taxation applies to business, but indirectly it affects workers. We remember that in the past decade when oil prices were rising, it was discussed that the government could reduce VAT, and is now being discussed that this tax could grow,” says Makarkin.
With regard to foreign policy, the expert expressed doubt that Russia 2018 could be getting in some new large-scale military adventure. “First, it absorbs a lot of resources. We see that the amount of reserves the state has reduced. In particular, it has no Reserve Fund. Secondly, it is obvious that such a query (in the community) no, that can be seen on the example of the war in Syria. As for Ukraine, the resumption of there (large-scale) military action is exorbitant a risk,” says the analyst.
In 2018, Russia expects the inertial scenario of development on the principle of “the best the enemy of the good”, “leave well alone” and “why break something that works” because of the serious demand for change in the country. The forecast for 2018 was given by the head of “Political expert group” Konstantin Kalachev. He is confident that Russia’s foreign policy also will not undergo any serious changes, what, in his opinion, said the tone of the speech of Vladimir Putin to reporters at his extended press conference at the end of 2017.
“Putin is absolutely convinced he is right, that’s not the problem and not in Russia. Moreover, it expresses and realizes the will of the majority of Russians and his foreign policy supported by them. The problem, Putin said, the so-called “partners”, so let “partners” and will work on the bugs. While they do not recognize that he is not prepared to take any position. He actually did not ready to take no position and offers to take him how he is,” says Kalachev.
“I do not think that after the presidential election, that will change, at least in the first few months after them. Nothing predicts that there will be any serious economic or political changes. Aside from possible force majeure, it is likely that everything will continue in the same spirit as now,” — said Dean of the faculty of political Sciences and sociology, European University at St.-Petersburg Grigory Votes. In his opinion, if there are some changes, they can be linked with external circumstances, for example, with the introduction of new sanctions.
Answering the question about a possible sharp change in foreign policy, the expert said that Moscow “continues to be somehow involved in the conflict in Ukraine, in Syria, indirectly involved in the conflict in Libya, and it is possible that now in the planning stages or are already implementing some other projects of this kind.” According to Golosov, “it’s just part of the routine political activities of the Russian state, and you need to understand that this activity is embedded a serious risks, because any one of these conflicts is fraught with a dangerous relapse, as during the conflict itself, and from the point of view of the impact of various external actors in it, and consequently, and Russia, as long as it involved in it”.
“Obviously, — continues the scientist — these are external risks that suit the Russian political leadership. Or, at least, those costs that they portend, from his point of view, outweighed by the advantages that Russia has. So it’s an obvious risk, but obviously predictable and acceptable to the Kremlin.”