Moreover, it has a significant potential. Much of the natural resources in Siberia are still underexploited. Many sectors of the economy could be expanded to make Russia more competitive and innovative. Climate warming, while being generally harmful for the planet, may have some beneficial effect on Russia: it may allow a growth of the agricultural output, and most importantly it could result in an easier access to the Arctic and consequently to the development of the Northern Route for maritime trade, something that could generate important revenues for the country. The Arctic, a region where Russia enjoys an easier access and a stronger (military) presence than other countries, is believed to hold vast natural resources, notably hydrocarbons; and its exploitation could benefit Russia.
Nevertheless, the current situation remains problematic for Russia. In particular, it is facing international isolation following the Ukrainian crisis and its intervention in Syria's civil war in support of Bashar al-Assad. Since then, relations with the West have reached a low-point and Russia has been accused of fostering instability, pursuing an expansionist policy, preparing military offensives, spreading fake news and even meddling in the US Presidential elections. This has pushed Russia to close its ties with other powers, notably China, and to support rival institutions (like the New Development Bank) in the context of the BRICS grouping. This resulted into renewed tensions, especially with the US and its NATO allies.
Still, much of this is the result of a failure by the West to understand and properly take into account Russia's mind frame and interests. To avoid a further mounting of tensions which may have terrible consequences, it is therefore necessary to comprehend and consider these aspects.
My knowledge on Russia comes from a mixture of personal interest and academic lectures.
This page hosts my reports on Russia, that appear below.