Don’t be deceived by Russia’s GDP. According to estimates from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, Russia’s 2018 gross domestic product growth reached 2.3 percent, the highest growth rate since 2013 and surpassing forecasts by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Central Bank. It’s a positive trend, but not a stable one. The growth was driven by the construction sector – primarily large oil and gas projects. Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company, hit a new profit record, earning 649 billion rubles ($9.9 billion) in 2018. Record profits mean record dividends for Rosneft (274 billion rubles), which will help replenish the Russian budget. But an oil company’s strong performance isn’t necessarily a good sign for the Russian economy: Growth based on oil and gas means Russia is still dependent on these resources and its attempts to make structural economic changes have not yet succeeded.
The U.K.’s alarm over Brexit hops the pond. The leader of Northern