The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Reform gamble pay-off spurs Putin to raise the stakes

Russian president Vladimir Putin fired the first salvo of his re-election campaign in his state of the nation speech on May 16 and used it to report on his first three years in office.

Only three years ago as he stepped up to the lectern to deliver the most-watched speech of his young presidency, Putin was being lambasted as a dictator in the making. He was also accused of recreating Stalin's police state, after he ordered the second invasion of Chechnya, stripped regional governors of powers and drove leading oligarchs abroad into self-imposed exile. That day he launched an ambitious and radical reform programme.

It was a big gamble. Following the 1998 crisis he needed to noticeably improve Russians' lives if he was to be re-elected in March 2004. "We have reached a line beyond which we cannot go. Poverty has reached a mind-boggling scale in Russia," Putin said in the May 2000 speech.

Rejecting the temptation to return to the Kremlin's authoritarian ways was a gamble that has paid off handsomely: Russia has now put in five years of 5%-plus GDP growth.

On a snowy day in the same month that Putin called for change, thousands of Muscovites queued for hours to look around the newly opened Ikea super store in Moscow.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree