Putin's Third Way

With the rise in oil prices and a conservative fiscal policy, Russia turned from a debtor nation into an economic powerhouse, creating a compromise between the excesses of the free market and the inefficiencies of a command economy

Issue: Jan-Feb 2009

SPEAKING TO a group of foreign investors on October 20, 2008, Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, boasted that in contrast to policy makers around the world, including those in the leading international financial institutions, he had not been caught unawares by the present financial crisis. While "all of them" were unprepared, he said, "we did not allow ourselves to be caught by surprise. When we formulated our long-term economic and financial policy, we took into account potential risks and threats." Alluding to his insistence on building up huge financial reserves, Putin noted, "We were sometimes even criticized for being too conservative. Well, I think that conservatism proved justified."

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