A belligerent foreign policy, with the annexation of Crimea, support for insurgents in Eastern Ukraine and military intervention in Syria, has led to a deterioration of relations with the EU and the U.S., which are now reminiscent of the Cold War.

Financial difficulties are caused by structural deficiencies in the economic system, high dependency on the sale of raw materials, a dramatic drop in world oil prices and economic sanctions imposed by the EU and the U.S.

The Russian government manages to cope with these difficulties and has succeeded in finding a balance between the center and the regions, between state and society and between domestic and foreign policies.

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