Kadri Liik: Russia's economic situation to affect Putin's standing
Kadri Liik, a senior policy fellow at London-based think tank, European Council on Foreign Relations, told to CNN that the difficult economic situation Russia has itself found in, will endanger Vladimir Putin's position.
“In a longer term, it will affect Putin's standing. He came in power by promising economic stabilization. Now he has led Russia in a similar instability as Yeltsin did,” Liik said in an interview with CNN.
Liik said that part of Putin's popularity has always been based on the assumption that he led Russia out of the economic decline that characterized the country in the 1990s.
Liik said that in light of the Ukraine crisis, Russian leadership has a paranoid world view and there is an element of unpredictability – there is a danger that the leadership would want to diverse attention away from the economic difficulties to initiate another conflict elsewhere.
According to Liik, the Western sanctions against Russia have had a good impact and therefore there may be a chance for a dialogue.
Liik said that Russia has wanted to have a deal with the West since April, but on its own conditions, which are not acceptable to the West. Vladimir Putin's press conference on Thursday should give a clear signal whether the Russian President is ready to enter into dialogue with the West.