On March 18, 2018 presidential elections are going to take place in Russia, and they might result in bringing Russia to the beginning of the post-Putin era in the country. Vladimir Putin has been the President of the Russian Federation during 2000-2008, and since 2012. People all over the world are intrigued, whether a sensational change will take place in Kremlin. The chances for his not standing again are almost null (Nougayrède, 2017), but still the possibility remains.

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Supposedly, Putin was not elected for the President, and Sobchak took his post (Filipov, 2017). The most likely, the things are going to remain as they currently are. The Russian system of power seams not likely to change even after Putin is out of the office: it will be the same authoritative ruling, war-based approach in country policy, and minor cooperation with Europe and the U.S. Following this scenario, Russia will remain under sanctions, which would only be increased, if Crimea is not returned to Ukraine, Russia-sponsored terrorist in the Eastern Ukraine are not eliminated from Luhansk and Donetsk regions, and backing up the Bashar al-Assad’s army in Syria is not stopped (Beshidsky, 2017). Russian government exhibits further intensity and “uncertainty at the heart of power” (Carroll, 2017), as it comprehends the consequences of making Putin the President once again.

To conclude, after presidential elections Russia could go three ways: 1) Putin remains and nothing changes, 2) not Putin, but someone from his candidates is elected, which brings zero changes to current policy, sanctions increase exponentially, and the country finds itself isolated, and 3) the new President starts actual reforms in the country, cancels annexation of Crimea, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia, etc., assists in elimination of the self-terrorists, etc. This would be first but essential steps in reviving global belief in Russia.

    References
  • Beshidsky, L. (2017). Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era. Bloomberg, [online]. Available at https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-12-07/russia-takes-a-step-toward-the-post-putin-era [Accessed 08 Jan. 2018].
  • Carroll, O. (2017). ‘There Can Be No Second Putin’: Russia Looks to Prospect of Future Without Vladimir as Sources Say He Has Considered Quitting. Independent, [online]. Available at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/vladimir-putin-russia-latest-quitting-presidential-election-dmitry-medvedev-alexei-navalny-new-a8062776.html [Accessed 08 Jan. 2018].
  • Filipov, D. (2017). Putin Talks Like Russia’s Next President but Stays Silent on Whether He’ll Run. The Washington Post, [online]. Available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/putin-talks-like-russias-next-president-but-stays-silent-on-whether-hell-run/2017/10/19/cfc56794-b4c1-11e7-99c6-46bdf7f6f8ba_story.html?utm_term=.b3d9892148ed [Accessed 08 Jan. 2018].
  • Nougayrède, N. (2017). We Need to Plan for Russia after Putin. The Guardian, [online]. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/09/russia-after-vladimir-putin-soviet-union [Accessed 08 Jan. 2018].