For the past few years Russian economic policy has been dominated by two concerns. The first is the country’s deteriorating economic performance. The second is the falling out with the United States and Europe. The first concern has prompted a search for a new economic ‘strategy’ that would enable the nation’s output to grow faster than the world average. The slowing growth of 2013–14, the decline of 2015–16 and the prospect of growth at less than 2% a year into the 2020s are lumped together, in current Russian political parlance, as ‘stagnation’. The worry underlying this use of the word is not that Russia is literally standing still but that the nation’s share of world output has been falling and is expected to fall further.
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