Russia's economic future Alexander Nemenov/Getty Images

Un apretón de manos con la débil posición económica de Rusia

CAMBRIDGE – Cuando el Presidente ruso Vladimir Putin se reúna con su homólogo estadounidense, Donald Trump, durante la cumbre del G20 a celebrarse esta semana en Hamburgo, no lo hará desde una posición de fortaleza económica. No cabe duda que a pesar de la fuerte caída de los precios del petróleo que comenzó hace tres años, Rusia ha logrado escapar de una profunda crisis financiera. No obstante, si bien la economía está disfrutando de un modesto repunte después de dos años de honda recesión, el futuro ya no parece ser tan prometedor como los líderes pensaron que sería hace apenas cinco años. Salvo una seria reforma económica y política, ese es un mal presagio para la capacidad de Putin en cuanto a plasmar en realidades sus ambiciones estratégicas con respecto a Rusia.

Ya en el año 2012, cuando Putin se presentó en el escenario con el economista Paul Krugman, ganador del Premio Nobel, durante una conferencia bancaria en Moscú, la crisis económica del año 1998 en Rusia parecía ser un recuerdo lejano. Ya que los precios del petróleo estaban por encima de los 100 dólares el barril, las arcas del gobierno estaban estallando de llenas. Por lo tanto, Putin pudo contrastar con orgullo el superávit presupuestario del gobierno de Rusia con los grandes déficits impulsados ​​por la recesión en todo el Occidente. Con seguridad, para él fue motivo de deleite que los distintos públicos rusos escuchen la opinión de Krugman sobre que las democracias occidentales habían manejado muy deficientemente la crisis financiera mundial.

En una sesión diferente, el economista y académico ruso Sergei Guriev (quien más tarde tuvo que huir del país) argumentó que no había esperanza para una diversificación de la economía basada en los recursos de Rusia, mientras las instituciones, como por ejemplo los tribunales de justicia, fueran tan débiles. Demasiadas decisiones clave descansaban en los hombros de un solo hombre. Al tomar la palabra en la misma sesión, yo subrayé que sin reformas fundamentales, una fuerte caída en los precios mundiales de la energía crearía graves problemas.

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