Grigory Yavlinsky: Forecast of a Breakdown
The Ministry of Economic Development has made its official forecast: Russian economy will not grow in the next 20 years, and until 2036 the country will be in stagnation. What does it mean?
This means that we do not have development prospects. The present economic system together with the state policies does not allow the country to develop in the modern world. This will result in such a lag [compared with the developed countries] that could lead to the disintegration of Russia.
But the Ministry of Economic Development does not consider such key consequences of prolonged stagnation. Their forecast takes into account neither the historical and political context, nor the context of global development. However, they promise us with surprising volubility a halt in the country’s development for decades. According to the authors of the forecast, Russia “will be moving closer towards the poorest countries”.
In fact, this forecast is the most eloquent assessment of Putin as head of the state. In 20-30 years the world will finally divide into developed and forever undeveloped countries. And as the present Russian leadership is not going to leave the power in the foreseeable perspective, and, consequently, all hope of any serious political and economic reforms is futile, Russia, even according to the official forecast, will forever remain among the underdeveloped and poor countries. Considering the size of the country, the specifics of its [political and economic] system, the huge length of our borders with the most unpredictable and unstable regions of the world, the threat of the breakdown and withdrawal of Russia from the world arena under such weak national economy is very real.
How to prevent this? The Ministry of Economic Development are not concerned with this issue. They probably rely on their strange forecast for oil prices, according to which a barrel should for some reason cost USD 76.7 in 2030. But this is some foolish joke. There are no real grounds for such assumption. A more careful analysis allows us to predict that the prices will be from USD 20 to USD 50 per barrel in the next 30 years.
“No new shocks in the oil market are expected over the next 20 years,” the Economic Development Ministry wrote. What such confidence base on? And what about the “green energy” and other new technologies in this sector? The fact that they are developing everywhere except Russia, does not mean that this factor should not be considered. Otherwise there may come another “unexpected surprise” as with shale oil… And how long ago did they in the Ministry watch the news from the Middle East?
There are other questions to the forecast. For example, the Ministry of Economic Development somehow believe that almost 300,000 migrants will arrive in Russia every year, including compatriots returning to their homeland and foreign experts. I wonder who will come to the country that is at feud with almost all the developed world and is constantly on the brink of war? In the meantime, the opposite is true: accruing to the most careful estimates provided in the report by the Committee of Civil Initiatives with reference to the State Statistical Service, emigration has grown by 80 per cent over the past four years (!).
There will be not the development the Ministry is speaking about. There will be retrograde movement. If the authors of the forecast come to the conclusion that in 20 years Russia will be “closer to the poorest countries” even at “improved” indices [they give in the state statics], then where our country will be at oil prices below USD 50 per barrel and shrinking working-age population?
However, the authorities prefer hallucinations instead of reality. The Kremlin has heard nothing about the forecast of stagnation. “Maybe it is some new work,” the President’s Press Secretary says adding that, according to his data, the economy has entered the “growth path”.
The politics is destroying the economy. Even the forecast, to say nothing of the situation, can not be changed without a radical change of the policy.
Posted: October 24th, 2016 under Economy.