Russia in the System of Global Economic Relations

Leonid Grigoryev is Tenured Professor and Academic Supervisor in the Department of World Economy, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.
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    The socio-economic history of Russia demonstrates that its ‘place’ in global economic relations has been subject to complex cyclical processes. The country entered the 20th century with a high growth rate and burgeoning industrialisation that included significant foreign capital. Historically exports primarily included raw materials such as grain and timber while imports consisted largely of machinery and consumer goods. The fast industrialisation and society changes involved large numbers of people in manufacturing, finally bringing success in many areas, especially education, nuclear and space studies, weaponry and health care. However, during the 20th century the general trend toward modernisation was interrupted by World War I, the Civil War, purges of the 1930s and World War II, which caused enormous loss to both the working population as a whole and, in particular, to its most creative members: the entrepreneurs and the intelligentsia. The collapse of the Soviet Union caused a further loss of industrial potential, a surge in emigration and the need to restructure socioeconomic institutions and launch a new wave of modernisation. At each such critical juncture, the country relied heavily on export of raw materials, struggled to restore human capital and defence capabilities, and was forced to import technologies and consumer goods, now and again as a century ago, while each time on a different level.