By Abdullah Farhad
Russia has got its messiah in the person of Vladimir Putin. Russia has backed changes allowing Putin rule until 2036. A nationwide referendum was held last week in which 78% Russians supported Putin. During this week long referendum an over-whelming response was seen. People were zealous and they voted for constitutional reforms. They also showed their consent in the extension of presidential term. Putin will serve two more terms until 2036 back to back 6 years. The slogan for this referendum was ‘our country, our constitution, our decisions’. It seems resounding victory for Russia and as well as Putin.
Who is Putin?
Putin studies law and his tutor was Anatoly Sobchak, who later was the leading reformer politicians of Perestroika. Putin has served as intelligence officer in KGB (committee for state security). In 1990 he retired from KGB as lieutenant Colonel. Later he became advisor to Sobchak. In 1994 Putin became deputy mayor of St. Petersburg. In 1998, president Boris Yelsten made Putin director of the Federal Security Service (FSB).
Boris Yelsten who was looking for his heir to assume his mantle, appointed Putin as PM in 1999.
Russia under Putin.
As Putin resumed charge in Russia, he made hectic efforts to develop Russia. Economy made real strides by the average of 7% per year, making it the 7th largest economy of the world. In 2007, Russian GDP exceeded that of Russian SFSR. Industry grew substantially as did production, construction, real estate, incomes, credit and the middle class, the imprints of his policies were traced everywhere. The magnificent work of Putin was to establish fund for oil revenue which allowed Russia to repay all of Soviet Union’s debts by 2012.
Russia joined World Trade Organisation in 2012. Russia became major exporter of oil and gas to Europe. Control over economy was increased by placing individuals from the intelligence services in key positions of Russian economy.
In 2005, an industry consolidation program was launched to bring the main aircraft producing companies under a single umbrella organisation—the United Aircraft Corporation. The aim was to optimize production lines and minimize losses.
A program was started to increase Russia’s share of the European energy market by building, submerged gas pipeline bypassing Ukraine. Russia also undermined the rival pipeline project Nabucco by buying the Turkmen gas and redirecting it into Russian pipeline. Russia and China signed $400 billion gas deal. Russia is also progressing in nuclear industry. $42.7 billion were allocated to nuclear power and industry development before 2015. Large number of nuclear power stations and units are currently being constructed by State Corporation Rosatem in Russia and abroad. Besides this, program of floating nuclear power plants will provide power to Russian Arctic costal cities.
In Political arena, Putin has several feathers in his cap; the salvation of Russia from disintegration, end of war in Chechnya, Reforms of army and construction of military industry complex and reintegration of Crimea into Russia.
Global Role of Russia
According to political analysts, Russia has the capacity to destabilize world order. From Syrian conflict to the presidential elections of America, Russia has been influencing foreign policy. It is really awe-inspiring that how Russia changed political scenario in Syria. Russia has close ties with US rivals e.g. Iran and China. Iran and China both are against American hegemony in the world. Russia is working on sales and military engagements to build ties with Asia, Africa, Latin America and Middle East.
Subsequently, Russia under the administration of Putin, would be again a super power. A superpower who can gain its supremacy could end the power monopoly of US.
Abdullah Farhad is a member of staff. He is pursing his MS degree in education and retains a special interest in promotion of education in Balochistan in general and in Jafferabad in particular.