If Putin really wanted to integrate Russia, he'd build decent roads, says Prof. Paul Goble

by Paul A. Goble  |  December 9, 2013  |  ARTICLES

Window on Eurasia: If Putin Really Wanted to Integrate Russia, He'd Build Decent Roads

Staunton, December 8 - President Vladimir Putin talks a lot about the risks of the disintegration of the Russian Federation, but if he were really interested in integrating the country, he would talk less and build better roads and highways, something that the new Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum shows he has not done.

Instead, Russia ranks 136th out of the 144 countries rated by the report, just below Bosnia and Herzegovina and just above Ukraine and Gabon in the bottom ten on this ranking which reflected an assessment of density, quality of construction, and level of maintenance (forbes.ru/news/234972-rossiya-popala-v-desyatku-stran-s-samymi-plohimi-dorogami-v-mire).

That Russian roads are inadequate is an ancient observation, but many observers blame the country's northern climate and enormous size for this. In fact, while climate and distance matter, government policy on the construction and maintenance of roads matters far more most of the time.

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