Protests in Armenia against an energy price increase caused suspicions in Moscow of a potential Maidan-type scenario. Although the protests are not anti-Russian in nature, continued negligence and taking Armenia’s partnership for granted may eventually undermine Russian influence in the region.
Radically different assessments of the country’s political and economic development expressed by members of the elite at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum demonstrate the absence of a unified view as to how the current challenging situation can be resolved. A large part of the elite sees it as acceptable, which rules out any significant domestic or foreign policy change.
Changes are taking place in Russia’s attempts to establish connections with the international expert community, as a new dialogue platform, Club 21, was established specifically to discuss modern democracy and governance issues. The change takes place as a result of the Kremlin’s dissatisfaction with existing channels, including the Valdai Club.
The Russian military has been enjoying increased public trust over the past decade, as a growing share of Russians say they believe the army can protect them in case of foreign aggression and want their relatives to serve in the army.
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