Russian business and politics can rarely be described as boring. Each year throws up its share of dramas, and 2011 is no exception to the rule.
From prime minister Vladimir Putin’s recent, and not entirely unexpected, self-anointment as Russia’s next president, through to Rosneft’s doomed oil exploration joint venture with UK oil major BP and its subsequent rebound into ExxonMobil’s welcoming arms. These events, and more, have shown that Russia hasn’t lost its flare for political and economic intrigue and infighting. Nevertheless, compared to the problems faced by some of its neighbours in the CIS and Western Europe, Russia has come through the year with a veneer of respectability and stability. Any knocks it has taken have come from external sources.