Following today’s bombing of Domodedovo airport in Moscow, the presidential administration announced that Medvedev’s trip to Davos will be postponed.
This think-positive perspective has been painted in every official speech by the Russian leadership in the last few months, but it stands in sharp contrast to the warnings of the WEF experts about the inadequacy of existing institutions for managing the evolving crises in the global system. Russia’s political system remains resolutely anti-modernization as its incentive system is centered on extracting exorbitant profits by tapping into unaccountable money flows at very low risk (Vedomosti, January 21). Medvedev’s “modernization” discourse pretends to offer an alternative model of connecting with global innovation and production chains, but it merely provides a cover for Putin’s deeply corrupt system of privatizing the administrative rent. It was in Davos that Medvedev first presented his investor-friendly attitude in February 2007, and quite probably this WEF session will mark the closure of his failed leadership. This failure is determined not by the conditions of the power-sharing deal with Putin, or by such character flaws as a lack of guts; most of all, it is caused by the non-existent interest in change in the bureaucracy and also within the society. The system of predation and paternalism still has some reserves for prolonging its life-cycle, but when those are exhausted – it will be too late to cry “Change!”