The Liberalization of Infrastructure
Edited by Matthias Finger and Rolf W. Künneke
Chapter 25: Liberalization of Infrastructures in Russia
1 Hella Engerer INTRODUCTION Russia is a country which has gone through a complex transition from the planned economy to a market economy. Similarly to other eastern European countries, the liberalization of infrastructures which took place in Russia has gone hand in hand with a restructuring of state-owned enterprises. In addition, the liberalization and restructuring of the so-called ‘strategic’ sectors such as energy or transportation has served as a sign of the political willingness to reform the economy and privatize formerly stateowned enterprises. Given the importance of a developed infrastructure for economic growth, the progress of the infrastructural sector reforms also mirrors the progress of transition. In Russia, the specific approaches to reform and restructuring of various infrastructure sectors are shaped by a range of internal factors, such as resource endowment, inherited capital stock and vast geographical distances. Therefore, liberalization and restructuring processes in Russia may appear to be of a somewhat special character (‘Russian style’). Nevertheless, the Russian reforms of infrastructures are still, at least in part, influenced by the ongoing debate on theoretical approaches as well as other countries’ experiences, in particular in Western Europe. This analysis of the liberalization of infrastructure in Russia will highlight key internal factors, as well as external influences. This chapter provides an overview of the transition of the Russian economy and infrastructures. First, it analyses the development of the Russian economy during the transition period, focusing specifically on the transition’s main economic challenges. Then a snapshot of infrastructure reforms in Russia will...
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