Worse, Russian elites are living off the wealth built up in the past or from natural resources. They haven’t learned that they could earn even more from modernization and show no signs that they are about to. Instead, they believe that they are in the best of all possible worlds and work hard to suppress any competition, exactly the reverse of what Russia needs.
“Of course,” the economist says, “this will not last forever but one should not expet changes in the nearest future. The system is horrible, corrupt and ineffective but despite that it has a large reserve of strength. The majority of the population in Russia isn’t seeking serious change.”
Thus, the most one can say,” Inozemtsev suggests, is “that this system will collapse only when it is completely exhausted. Sooner or later this will happen but it is important to understand that Russia in the form in which we know it will not survive the collapse of this system painlessly.”
What we can be certain of, he says, is that “Putin will not go voluntarily” but instead simply seek ways to present as “legitimate” his remaining in power for the rest of his life. Those may range from the transformation of Russia into a parliamentary system or the annexation of Belarus to make the union state a reality with the need for a “new” president.