These are the personal views of John T. Connor Jr., who manages the Third Millennium Russia Fund:
Thousands of Russians, frustrated by the sharp economic decline, turned out recently in anti-government protests. While frustration is understandable, the Russian government is taking serious steps to ensure long-term economic stability.
From continuing privatization to spurring innovation to encouraging foreign investment, Russia’s top officials see economic modernization as a key to the country’s future. The person on whom much of the responsibility falls for making this happen is First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. Along with several other Western investors and analysts, I recently met with Shuvalov in his Moscow office to discuss his vision for Russia’s economic future. I liked what I heard, both in his realistic analysis of what has hampered Russia’s progress and in his plans for overcoming those challenges.