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Unformatted text preview: oreign policy contributor to the Chicago Tribune, 2012 (4/4, -prices-cubic-meters-natural-gas) Putin made a number of big domestic promises during the presidential race, including plans to usher in sweeping pension and wage hikes. He also put forth "a rather ambitious military modernization program," Pifer says. "If oil prices remain high, he might be able to do all of those things," Pifer says. "If prices come down, however, Putin will have some very tough decisions to make at home ... between guns versus butter." Should oil and gas prices tumble, experts say Putin would likely pick butter. "In 2007 when oil was doing well, Putin [as president] could have modernized the Russian military," says Pifer. Instead, Putin m ade a number of economic moves, such as the creation of a rainy day fund that was used during the recent global financial crisis," Pifer notes. What's more, Putin returns to power with his sharp eyes locked on his opposition, which is composed of the country's urban, middle-class populations. Experts agree that Putin would be hard-pressed to break his pension and wage promises in favor of a few more missiles. But even an economically weaker Russia would likely pick its spots to block Washington's desires. "They have a very sovereigntist, noninterventionalist view of world affairs," Burwell says. That means Moscow fundamentally opposes Western efforts to boss around the world's strongmen, with which Russian leaders have much in common. "The Russian also have real hard-core, national, commercial and other interests in both Iran and Syria that cannot simply be ignored," Burwell says. 13 | P a g e Russian Oil DA Affirmative BDL Internal Link Turn – High Oil Prices Facilitate Russian Militarism [____] [____] High oil prices embolden Russia’s aggressive foreign policy Steve LeVine, contributing editor at Foreign Policy, Fellow at the New America Foundation, and professor, Georgetown, Security Studies, 2011 (9/27/11, “Putin's gamble: a bet on high oil prices,” ) Yet it is this very hydrocarbon foundation that Putin is banking on in a new period as p resident starting next May. Western financial analysts wring their hands that Russia needs at least $116a-barrel oil to balance its budget, while the price of the Brent benchmark is just $105 at the moment and is forecast to drop over the next year or so. But, with his move, Putin aligns himself with the longer-term outlook of most oil-price forecasters, who foresee a major spike in prices starting in roughly 18 months or two years and running until the end of the decade. At that point -- 2020 or so -- many forecasters think oil prices will be so high that they will begin to trigger more or less a permanent destruction of much demand as consumers switch to alternatives. By th...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.

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