I am not being facetious, I mean it. Thankfully, Angela Merkel today confirmed that sanctions will be extended. And this is all for the better. Again, I stress, I am not joking or being ironic, especially against the background of the related news. For example, the production of machines and equipment in Urals in the first Quarter of 2016 grew 41% relative to the same period in 2015. The link is in Russian. In other, very important related news, Russia decided not to sell three (out of six) remaining Project 11356 Frigates to India but wait for the completion of Russia's own power plant for these ships by NPO Saturn, instead of Ukrainian-made propulsion. It is a wise and strategic decision. New Saturn power plant could be used in future classes of frigates other than Project 22350 Gorshkov-class. These are good news for Russian Navy in general, and Black Sea Fleet in particular.
In general, sanctions play a very positive role in Russia's real economy. But this fact is missing on monetarists who do not see the forest behind the trees. Nobody says that sanctions made life of overwhelming majority of Russians easier, but they are just a small part of a larger economic burden of policies of incompetent hacks, Russian Prime Minister included, who never had any real applicable life skills other than getting degrees in some pseudo-science of liberal economics or law. But that is Russia's strictly internal drama and a problem. It is difficult to teach some bankster, such as Gref or Kudrin, real skills in real economy which make it grow not by currency speculation or voodoo dances on Moscow Stock Exchange but by growing real economic, scientific and human capital of the nation--these skills are not taught in the world of shysters. Stealing, BSing, coming up with lame terms for robbery--these are the skills required in the world of "financiers". Putin, in my humble opinion, should have understood by now that it is a model which sucks, not only this model's preposterous protagonists who never learned to create anything of value in their life. Will Putin take action? I don't know. His approval rating is through the roof and it is this rating which, for now, gives some breathing space and time to Medvedev and his cabal of West "educated" government ministers. It is a question now--will Putin continue to associate himself with the government which works towards stopping really positive trends which took the root despite, not thanks, to this government's policies? I don't know the answer. On one hand Putin has support of a majority of Russia's people, on the other--he has HIS government which represents the interests of a narrow strata of liberals who would love nothing better than see Russia disintegrate and who do not represent desires and vision of Russian people. Well, Putin should really think fast now, because it is him who separates his government, and people it represents, and lamp posts on which most of them would be hanging by the neck if not for those genuine 80% of Putin's approval rating.