Energy and the G8

If questions about Russia’s commitment to democracy set the agenda, the Group of Eight (G8) summit in St. Petersburg July 15-17 would be fairly easy to predict. Yet energy more likely will become the center of attention. On that subject, predictions are risky.Russia’s intentions for democracy are clear enough. What the West sees as backsliding under Russian President Vladimir Putin seems fine with Russians. For all his heavy-handedness with the news media, industry, and political opponents, Putin remains enormously popular. Russians apparently correlate democracy with the runaway liberalization that led to financial crisis, widespread personal losses, and emergence of a despis...

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