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Russian Economic Growth since 1998 - Essay Example

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The largest country in the world, The Russian Federation has received its share of criticism over the past few hundred years; from the days of the land hungry monarchs to the Revolution of 1917, right up until the 1990's when the Soviet Union broke and laid Russia and its counterparts bare to the scrutiny of the Western world…
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Russian Economic Growth since 1998
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Download file to see previous pages The answer depends on the interpretation of data provided mostly by the World Bank.
The 1998 financial crisis spread throughout the Asian continent and was described by economist Richard Cooper as "the rapid outflow of funds akin to a deposit run on a bank"1. Money just seemed to seep out of countries like Russia who in previous years had been so economically powerful, and the government scrabbled desperately to regain a foothold on world economics. The assumption has been made that following this initial year of economic distress, The Russian Federation has succeeded in turning itself around and making basic social services available to its citizens while eradicating a large portion of past poverty. Poverty, deprivation and social exclusion are purported to be a thing of the past; how accurate is this depiction of modern Russia
Most research shows a slightly different reality than this ideology suggests, and despite the wishes of the state to be classified as economically sound its leaders have been constantly struggling with the administration of such a massive country. In fact it seems that while The Russian Federation has successfully pulled itself out of a massive financial slump in terms of world economy, a great number of its people are still struggling to meet their basic needs. Things like health care, education, and access to unemployment benefits have no real constancy throughout the country and because of this social exclusion is not only being supported but encouraged.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, The Russian Federation faced incredible difficulties not only in securing foreign trade agreements but in catering to the needs of its millions of diverse people spread over eleven time zones. Dissolution having exposed the former Soviet Union as an incredibly fragile economy, the 1990's saw the swift and steady decline of the Russian economy as well as those of most former Soviet states. 1998 was the culmination of this degradation and the country's overall growth suitably expanded to 74% of the booming 1989 GDP by 20012; a success that convinced Western countries that Russia had regained its strength and capabilities from the Communist era. Kharas, Pinto and Ulatov note that the devaluation of the Russian ruble led to domestic inflation for which Russian people were not prepared3; federal borrowing meant that the government had to continue to sacrifice social services and put its people at further risk until internal revenues were restored.
De Blij and Muller cite the sheer size of The Russian Federation as the reason for most social imbalances within the state, explaining that forces of devolution and fundamental geographic differences have contributed not only to the economic crises but the subsequently frail social structure of the country; namely poverty. "After communist collapse, [Russia's] leaders faced a massive problem. A multinational, multicultural state that had been accustomed to authoritarian rule and government control over virtually everythingnow ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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