Russia needs to learn the use of its energy power

Russia was and still is a massive energy provider, but there is a problem of making it a more competitive country, says Marshall Goldman, an analyst on the economy of the former Soviet Union and Russia.

Russia was and still is an energy power, but there is a problem of making it a more competitive country.

Natural energy resources is an easy way out but “the problem is that the more you sell oil and gas, then the more valuable the rouble is and the more valuable the rouble is to other currencies – the more difficult it is to manufacture goods that are competitive.”

“Russia’s problem with energy is that it cannot decide to use its energy as an economic tool or as a political tool. It begins to use politics that destroys the economic ability to have influence.”

“Russia is so sophisticated when it comes to military equipment, but so far it has not been able to translate some of that to the civilian sector. There is a need for innovations to come from the bottom up.”

“One of Russia’s biggest losses was the brainpower that emigrated… They brought enormous creative power to the US. [Russia’s] loss was [America’s] enormous gain.”

“Russia has to encourage new entrepreneurs to give people the sense of being independent and to do so it needs sources of funding and institutions that facilitate that. Now the starting of a new business is too centralized, bureaucratic and corrupt.”

“Many people in the West have a sort of peasant mentality about Russia and do not recognize it as a civilized country, despite the good Russia did over the years.”

“I think Putin is good for Russia. I would not want him to be the president of the US, but I think Russians need somebody whom, they think, is strong – and in some sense Russia is lucky to have a leader like this.”