Russia: Clear election result paves way for policy continuity

5 min

Vladimir Putin, the incumbent, was clearly re-elected for a fourth term in office in Sunday's presidential election, as expected. He received 76.7% of the vote, the highest result for all post-Soviet presidential elections. Independent election watchdogs and media reported that the election was cleaner than in the past. Yet, they also still reported numerous instances of manipulation and efforts at mobilization to vote by regional authorities. Despite the latter, the turnout was just 67.5%, the highest since the 2008 election but below the targeted 70%. A government reshuffle is likely after Putin’s inauguration in May and should provide hints about the future policy direction. We expect broad continuity of foreign and economic policies in the medium term. In particular, since the economy has now entered a path of gradual recovery, we do not expect wide-ranging structural reforms that would be needed to bring the economy on a trajectory of higher long-term growth.