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Page added on March 30, 2008

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Russia’s new energy strategy seems a lot like its old one

PARIS: On May 7, Dmitri Medvedev, chairman of Gazprom and president-elect of Russia, will be formally inaugurated as head of state, succeeding Vladimir Putin. Later the same month, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade will submit a draft of a new long-term economic plan – the Concept of Russia’s Long-Term Social and Economic Development Until the Year 2020 – to the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament.

The plan, according to ministry officials, will offer a strategy aimed at growth through innovation, research, and the development of human capital.

Those priorities might suggest some shift, over time, from the core role played by the oil and natural gas sector in the Russian economy. Oil and natural gas now account for 50 percent of central government budget revenue and 65 percent of export receipts, according to a Bank of Finland report in February.

Still, Western analysts say they expect little to change politically as a result of Medvedev’s elevation and Putin’s shift into the prime minister’s seat: and economic analysts equally expect little change to emerge from the long-term plan.


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