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Russia Is Spoiled by Oil; India Blessed With Less

Author: Amity Shlaes, Former Hayek Senior Fellow for Political Economy
February 21, 2007


This week, Russia is busy warning that Poland or the Czech Republic will be targeted by its missiles if they cooperate with the U.S. in missile defense. This action follows a threatening speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Munich.

India, by contrast, is emphatically assuring the world that the recent bombing of a Pakistan-bound train won't ruin relations with its Muslim neighbor.

In other words, Russiais turning out to be a country that creates geopolitical shocks, Indiaa country that absorbs them. It may be that the Russia problem doesn’t have so much to do with national temperament as with oil. New oil has corrupted the Russian people. It has even—improbable as this might have once sounded—transformed Putin into a Latin-style petrocrat.

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