In Russia, there is no question who is leading things and that person is Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Having served as President from 2000 through 2008, he certainly knows a thing or two about how Russia operates. And, as elections are fast approaching for 2012, there is a buzz about him throwing his name in the hat. But, there is more to it for Russia than electing Putin.
As he looks to be the more popular choice, it certainly seems an easy win. But, if he were to become elected, things could change. One of those things could be what ex-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has been talking about for nearly a year, a sliding back into Soviet authoritarian ways. Which could severely reverse the growth that Russia has taken advantage of over recent years. In other words, the electing of Putin in 2012 could lead to stagnation both economically and politically.
Political stagnation would be very harmful, as political parties have been calling for change. A change to policy that has been sought after for some time. And, with the possible electing of Putin, it could most definitely bring a Cold-War era type of change that would not be liked by the United States and its European allies.
But, that should come as no surprise with the recent START treaty as it heavily favors Russia and their nuclear weapons systems. Even so much on their side, that Russia announced that they would be seeking a more ‘modern’ military by increasing defense spending. Priced at $650B and a GDP impact that would triple it from 0.5% to 1.5%. This is cause enough to see the direction that Russia is headed.
So, you see, it is more than just the politics that are in play with the future election of Vladimir Putin, it is the global impact that it would play.