Russia economy 3.7% ---> 3% . Conventional wisdom suggests that economic hardships trigger anti-incumbency sentiment. But in Mr. Putin’s Russia just the opposite has happened. WHY ?
Under his watch, Russia has come out of its self-imposed strategic retreat and started playing an active global role. Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and a combative foreign policy in Syria and elsewhere have proved popular among his domestic constituents.
But the Russian economy continues to be heavily dependent on energy exports. If crude oil prices remain low for long, economic pain will persist.
Though the muscular foreign policy is popular at home, Moscow has had to pay a heavy price for it.
REALITY CHECK : Mr. Putin wants to rebuild Russia as a credible global power, a persistent economic crisis and a stormy neighbourhood are not going to help.