Is Russia a world power? Economically, however, Russia is not far away from the conditions in the third world
Through its President Vladimir Putin, Russia is internationally present on many stages and war theatres. The largest country in the world in terms of area is in many respects considered a winner in some conflict regions. This is because it pushes forward its military influence without much consideration for some principles of international law. In contrast, however, the economic reality at home looks extremely bleak. Russia is almost at the level of a developing country with rampant poverty. Head of government Dimitrij Medwedev has now had to take the rap for this.
Economic data in Russia
Russia is militarily a giant, but economically a dwarf. If you look at the data of the gross domestic product, you can see that the largest country on earth with its 150 million inhabitants is not even among the top 10 states.
In 10th place is Canada with a GDP (2018) of 1.798 trillion Dollars. And this with a population of just 37.6 million people. Russia, on the other hand, with four times as many inhabitants as Canada this year, came in at only 1.66 trillion Dollars, putting it in eleventh place.
This does not justify any comparison with the economic power of the USA with 20.4 trillion Dollars. Putin would like to catch up with this. However, the state of New York alone already reaches this magnitude.
Germany’s GDP is also over twice as high as that of the former world power in the East.
Fixation on raw materials
But what is fatal about the current situation, which also necessitated the government reshuffle? The fact that the country’s economic output has already reached 2.3 trillion Dollars in 2013. The crew was replaced, but the responsible boss (namely Putin) remained on board. The country is economically far to one-sidedly fixated on its raw materials. Since prices started to fall in 2014, GDP has also fallen accordingly. With terrible consequences for many citizens from the lower classes.
Figures from the Russian statistics agency show that the average monthly wage had fallen from 708 Euros in 2013 to 499 Euros in 2015.
The average pension, which fell from 234 Euros to 176 Euros in the same period, and then further to 167 Euros in 2016, is equally glaring. It was not until 2017 that a countermovement set in. By Central European standards, these are incredible figures.
This means that poverty is rampant in Russia. 12.7 percent of the population, or 18.6 million people, had to get by on less than 150 Euros per month.
Russia is thus no longer far away from conditions in the third world. According to the OECD’s Better Life Index, Russia has an average of 0.9 rooms per person. In the International Organisation’s ranking (average: 1.8 rooms), this puts it in last place. In addition, almost 15 percent of Russians do not even have an apartment with a toilet and flush (OECD average: 4.4 percent).
The Russian president is expanding his influence in many regions. His ambition is clearly to return his country to its former strength. But he is seriously neglecting the economic conditions in his own country. With such a weak economy, Putin can actually not even make any claims for reinstatement into the club of the G7 states (formerly G8).
Whether here the new formation of the Russian government is sufficient, if the boss is the old one and has already determined the guidelines of the policy before? In any case, permanent president Putin wants to achieve one thing above all else with the new order in the Russian government. He wants to keep the reins of power in his hands after 2024.