From: "John Hardt" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: 9308-Johnson's Russia List
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005
David, I should like to respond to the Guardian question. Should we give Putin respect in exchange for gas and oil? If Putin follows the reform he has laid out, he will introduce legal and institutional changes that would justify substantial investment in Russian gas and oil development. If he follows through on programs to upgrade funding education, health and social welfare as well as developing the Russian infrastructure, Russia may become on course for transition to a market economy. This funding would require substantial transfer of income from economic rents in the energy sector. We then may respect Putin's regime for making Russia a more developed economy.
We do not seem to hold most of the countries we import energy from to high standards of democracy and human rights. We might respect Putin for reforming the economy and have reservations about his political system. See my "Putin's Window of Economic Opportunity" in Problems of Post Communism, July/August 2005.
John Hardt, NCEEER (National Council for Eurasian and East European Research).