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Should We Be Guardedly Optimistic About Russias Economic and Political Future It remains to be seen whether Russia will be successful in converting to a capitalistic and democratic society Since 1989 Russia has slowly deteriorated into a country in great crises The GDP has decreased at about a 9 per year since 1990 and more and more Russians are going into poverty every year This is a big problem Russia is still a nuclear power and we do not want them to get in a situation where they feel they must lash out The country has so much potential only the United States rivals Russia in natural resources In many ways Russia is making progress the citizens do have more freedom now than at any time in their history It is unfortunate that the vast majority of the Russians cannot enjoy this freedom It is in both the Worlds and the United States best interest that Russia becomes economically stable and prosperous The United States should do whatever it can to help Russia achieve these goals For that to happen The US may have to accept that their initial recommendations to the Russians have failed Over the years the Russian people have come to distrust the intentions of the American Government Though our government meant well it has made things much worse for the Russian people It is important that we right these wrongs but should we be optimistic about the future of Russia on its present course To views on this question are presented in John T Rourkes Taking Sides Stephen Sestanovich who is ambassador-at-large and special adviser to the secretary of state for the New Independent States gives the view that we should be guardedly optimistic Peter Reddaway who is a professor of political science gives a counter view Both views provided a great deal of information in selling their views and in certain instances it seemed that they provided too
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