Staunton, March 19 – Many analysts and politicians are making all kinds of predictions about the future in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s convincing win, but only two things appear certain: he now has more room to make changes he may want but is under less pressure to make them and so probably won’t take any radical steps, according to the FinAm analytic portal.
“The significant support for the president is explained by two factors,” the agency says. First, the population as a whole supports Putin’s domestic and foreign policies and second, an alternative candidate was lacking”(finam.ru/analysis/forecasts/pobeda-putina-daet-emu-svobodu-v-prinyatii-resheniiy-no-snizhaet-stimuly-k-reformam-20180319-162933/).
Participation was somewhat greater than many expected, it continues, the result of the success of the regime’s efforts to get people to turn out. This year, Moscow spent 18 billion rubles (300 million US dollars) on that effort, up from 10 billion rubles (170 million US dollars) in 2012 to boost participation.
Strikingly, “the liberal parties lost support,” in part because of the national consolidation after the Crimean Anschluss but also because the liberals are viewed as pro-Western at a time when that is very much out of favor and were unable to agree on a single candidate, FinAm suggests.
All these things, it concludes, “reduce the stimuli for carrying out economic reforms. And therefore, we confirm our view that the government after the elections will concentrate more on budgetary policy, putting the question of structural reforms on the backburner,” at least for some time to come.