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Die Tageszeitung taz - Germany | Friday, December 5, 2014

Putin is blocking Russia's modernisation

Putin lacks a vision for his country, the left-leaning daily taz writes commenting on his annual State of the Nation speech: "This was the umpteenth time he went on about diversifying the economy. Fruitlessly, because there's no interest in doing so. The regime is addicted to oil; restructuring and modernisation would cost Putin his post and his wealth. Which is more than a shame because Russia has what it takes to develop innovative technologies. But meanwhile the ruling structures - the dominance of the state and the greedy bureaucracy - are undermining any possibility to put inventions into practice. Nothing will change, and Russia's geopolitical aggressiveness won't change either. The president left no room for doubt there. Moscow is right - end of discussion. Yet he explained that it would not isolate itself and go looking for enemies. But that's precisely what it's doing. So his promise not to start a new arms race is not entirely credible."

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