Monday, February 16, 2009

Soros on the geopolitics of cheap oil

The financial broadsheet Vedomosti has published an article (in Russian) by the international financier and philanthropist George Soros in which he gives his assessment of the effects of the economic crisis on the global political landscape. In his analysis he suggests that the recent dramatic fall in the price of oil may not be entirely a bad thing, as it is likely to promote some realism in Teheran, and make Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's return to power in Iran's June 12 elections that much less probable. On the other hand, there are dangers elsewhere. In Russia, Soros continues, the loss of oil revenues is likely to propel the leadership towards more adventurism abroad and greater repression at home. Nationalism has replaced Communism as the official ideology, and the people who are currently in power in Kremlin have few scruples about using the enormous might of the state to further their own individual ends.

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