June 30, 2023

CGA Faculty Spotlight: Carolyn Kissane Discusses Impact of Internal Dissent and Putin's Vulnerability on Energy Markets

NYU CGA Associate Dean and Clinical Professor, Carolyn Kissane, recently wrote in Barron's Magazine about the underwhelming impacts mercernary fighter events on Russia's energy markets. In the article, "Energy Markets Barely Blinked at Russia’s Mutiny. Summer Surprises May Await," Professor Kissane discusses President Vladimir Putin’s wavering power in Russia and the expanding reach of the Wagner Group. 

Professor Kissane continues to discuss the impact of mercenary groups on Putin's leadership:

What is clear is that Putin’s on shaky ground, unable to decisively punish or pardon Prigozhin and the Wagner Group. On Monday, Putin’s response was, “This is criminal activity aimed at weakening the country, and this was a colossal threat to us.” He called the rebellion an act of “suicide”. But by Tuesday, criminal charges against Prigozhin were dropped. This is a new role for Putin: outwardly perplexed, embarrassed, and humiliated, publicly illustrating a lack of resolve on what happens next. 

Like energy markets, Putin avoided a crisis. But he can’t escape internal dissent and the look of weakness he’s now shown to his population and the outside world. Chaos in a nuclear-armed state could be catastrophic. Putin’s wobbliness exposed a new depth and level of vulnerability. 

If, as many analysts argue, Putin’s grip on power is slipping, the consequences could be chaotic. Have events challenged the resiliency of the regime and energy production? Russia has maintained production since its war of aggression against Ukraine commenced more than 16 months ago. It continues to generate revenue even under sanctions, an oil price cap, and Western attempts to send its exports into decline. None of that has  worked. Could internal threats finally change that dynamic?  

Read more of Professor Kissane's article here.

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