Tim Brinton

El síndrome Brezhnev de Putin

PARÍS – El ganador de las elecciones legislativas del domingo en Rusia estaba cantado: Rusia Unida, organizado por Vladimir Putin. De la misma manera, no existen dudas de que el propio Putin ganará las elecciones presidenciales que se llevarán a cabo en marzo de 2012. Pero el entusiasmo público que ratificó al régimen de Putin durante una década se desvaneció, cosa que quedó demostrada en el desempeño deslucido de su partido, Rusia Unida, en las elecciones que acaban de concluir para el Parlamento (Duma). 

A diferencia de Europa, acuciada por una crisis de deuda soberana, y Estados Unidos, cuyos líderes están debatiendo cómo contener el déficit, Rusia puede parecer un oasis de estabilidad y continuidad. Pero esa continuidad es más reminiscente del zastoi, o estancamiento, de la era Brezhnev.

Ocho años de crecimiento promedio anual del PBI del 7% durante la presidencia anterior de Putin (2000-2008) le permitieron a Rusia saldar sus deudas, acumular casi 600.000 millones de dólares en reservas de moneda extranjera y sumarse a las principales economías emergentes. Una década después que la crisis de 1998 puso a Rusia de rodillas, sus líderes hacían alarde de que el país podía capear la crisis financiera de 2008.

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