Von Moskau nach Sotschi

NEW YORK – Erstmals seit den während des Kalten Kriegs ausgetragenen Moskauer Sommerspielen des Jahres 1980 veranstaltet Russland heuer Olympische Winterspiele in Sotschi. Offenkundig hat sich in der Zwischenzeit politisch viel verändert. Doch die aktuellen Winterspiele bieten auch eine günstige Gelegenheit, einen Blick auf Russlands jüngste Wirtschaftsgeschichte zu werfen – und einen Ausblick zu wagen.

Viele Menschen, die sich an den Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion im Jahr 1991 sowie dessen turbulente Folgen erinnern, glauben, Russlands Wirtschaft müsse verarmt und instabil sein – und auch weit hinter dem boomenden China liegen. Falsch. Daten des Internationalen Währungsfonds zufolge beträgt das russische Pro-Kopf-Einkommen im Jahr 2013, gemessen an Kaufkraftparität, etwa 18.600 Dollar und liegt damit fast doppelt so hoch wie der Wert in China von ungefähr 10.000 Dollar. Und nach Angaben der Weltbank gibt es in Russland beinahe keine extreme Armut, während der entsprechende chinesische Wert im Jahr 2009 bei 11,8 Prozent lag (aktuellere Daten liegen nicht vor).

Ja, die russische Wirtschaft wurde in den letzten Jahren nicht nur mit soliden makroökonomischen Strategien aufrechterhalten, sondern auch von weltweit hohen Öl- und Gaspreisen. Tatsächlich trug der Zusammenbruch der Weltölpreise nach 1985 zur schweren Wirtschaftskrise in der Sowjetunion und Russland in den späten 1980er und frühen 1990er Jahren bei. Das ist ein wichtiger Aspekt, denn die vom früheren sowjetischen Präsidenten Michail Gorbatschow und dem ehemaligen russischen Präsidenten Boris Jelzin umgesetzten Wirtschaftsreformen waren deshalb mit starkem Gegenwind konfrontiert.

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