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Twenty-four years ago the Soviet Union collapsed. Since then, Russia has been transformed in many dimensions but it is difficult to describe the country today. According to its Constitution, Russia is a democratic republic and federation, but modern Russia looks more like an absolute monarchy. The Russian economy is dominated by state corporations, the oligarchs of the 90's, and the cronies of the 2000’s. The economy has been in recession for more than a year and hasn’t exhibited any signs of recovery. Is the country stable? Can it face its governance and economic challenges? Can we forecast the medium-term future of the Russian economy? Could the economy collapse?
Sergey Aleksashenko is a Senior Fellow at the Development Center (a Moscow-based think tank) and Nonresident Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Since graduating Moscow State University in 1986, he has been involved in academia, the public sector, and in business. From 1990-1991 he was appointed to the Commission on Economic reforms of the Government of the USSR as one of the "500 days" plan members. In 1993-1995 he worked as deputy Minister of Finance of Russia in charge of budgetary planning, macroeconomic, and tax policy. From 1995-1998 he was responsible for monetary policy as the first deputy Governor of the Central bank of Russia. From 2000 to 2004 he was the deputy CEO of the Interros Holding where he lead the strategy and business development teams. In 2006-2008 he was the Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch Russia, the largest financial institution in Moscow, where he greatly increased the bank's scope and presence. Before the financial crisis of 2008, he returned to academia and became the Director of Macroeconomic Research at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. At the same time, he sat on the boards of Aeroflot, United Grain company, United Aircraft Corporation, and the National Reserve bank. At the end of 2012 he faced political persecution and in September 2013 he left Russia for Washington D.C. where he currently resides.