Russia is quietly competing with China for influence over global nuclear energy production, whether that means jostling for nuclear plant construction contracts, or securing access to uranium extraction in Central Asia.
Higher oil prices, state investment and Central Bank activism have maintained surface stability in the Russian economy this year, but there are still significant undercurrents that could serve to accelerate political reforms in 2018.
A worrying few years lie ahead for Russia’s economy. The Russian government is cash-strapped at both national and regional levels, and it will be education, health, wages and welfare that take the hit. High military spending is set to continue.
Russia’s regional governments owe vast sums to commercial banks and the federal government in Moscow. Those debts are spiralling out of control and need repaying. But where will those repayments come from?