In his lecture, "Last BRIC Standing? Russia's Long-Term Prospects Relative to Brazil, India, China – and the West," Rudra Sil examines Russia's long-term economic trajectory and its place in the global economy.
Sil acknowledges that there are reasons to remove Russia from the BRICs, and indeed to dismantle the "BRIC" category as analytically unhelpful. Yet, he argues, these moves should not automatically be conflated with unfavorable comparisons between Russia and high-growth emerging economies. In fact, Russia is not really an "emerging economy," though it may be said to have "RE-emerged" after the economic and social decline of the 1990s. Since 2000, what is more important for Russia than annual growth rates is the fact that it is slowly but steadily narrowing the gap with post-industrial Europe (i.e., the original EU-15) in key economic and demographic attributes.
While Russia’s post-crisis GDP growth rates and rates of gross capital formation remain well below China’s, the gap between China's and Russia's per capita GDP has actually increased; and the gap between Russia's per capita GDP and that of the lowest-ranked EU-15 member (Portugal) has decreased. Russia's populaton decline is not as steep as once imagined by some, and is in fact is serving as a blessing in terms of human development possibilities. And, the "resource curse" is less debilitating for Russia than many expect: while Russia is indeed a "petrostate," there are varieties of petrostates, and the Russian variant lies between energy exporters like Norway and the Gulf states.
Moreover, as other resources (renewable freshwater, arable land) come into short supply, Russia's advantage over other economies, whether emerging or developed, will increase in terms of per capita access to these resources. These long-term trend lines do not show up in reports of investment companies or credit-rating agencies, but they do imply that current sanctions imposed in connection with the Ukraine crisis will not have a lasting effect even if they do create new challenges or the current Putin regime.