By Ted Regencia
Written for the Business and Economics Reporting Class
at Columbia Journalism School
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency for the third time is causing political uncertainty among Russia’s business elite, so much so that it is fueling a capital flight, a Russian energy analyst said.
Natasha Udensiva, a visiting Russian scholar at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, said a retreat in direct investments particularly in the energy sector could cost Russia its current position as the number one oil-producing country in the world.
“There is a lot of outflow investment coming from Russia because there is no political stability,” Udensiva said during the forum, “Russian Energy Diplomacy under Putin,” in New York. “There is a lot of doubt how [Putin] will handle the economy.”
Putin was voted back to the presidency in March with over 60 percent of the vote. He is expected to take over the post from President Dmitry Medvedev on May 7.
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