"Just wondering, there is much ado about China these days, but Russia has been quietly catching back up to the USA for the last decade now. Not only does the country have vast resources it has yet to tap, but it is fast becoming one of the major exporters of energy on the planet, a vital industry. Not to mention that global warming, at its current rate, will likely open up a Northwest Passage in the next fifty years - meaning that Russia will finally have easy access to the sea for its navy.
In addition, Russia is still maintaining parity technologically with the USA in most aspects, and has been a power on and off again historically. Sure, their economy needs some improvement, but that is fixable (and exporting oil is not hurting it). The only real challenge that I see is widespread corruption, but it seems that the Russian people are starting to stand up for themselves and fight for true equality and fairness in government."
Sorry, but I have to dispute almost all of that. Russia has become essentially an oil-boom state. It's economy isn't diversified, they don't protect private property, their entrepreneurs don't innovate, their population, while educated, isn't very productive per capita, and they aren't investing in physical infrastructure. Most wealth generated in Russia is invested in other countries. The upper middle class is leaving in large numbers. "Technological parity" is essentially meaningless in the modern global economy, but middle class residents do not have access to the kind of standard of living we are used to over here, or in Western Europe.
They have more issues than a magazine stand. But they do have a lot of oil-money. It would be nice to believe that the people are starting to stand up to the regime, but it's a bit early to call that one.
Anyway- they aren't going to become another super-power because no one is. It is foreseeable that when the US loses it's overwhelming global economic and cultural dominance, no one is going to replace it, unless it's some collective entity like the G-20. What we will end up with is a collection of regional powers, with the US acting to occasionally tip the balance a la the British in the 19th century.
“There’s room for all of us here... But there’s no middle ground between ‘We belong here’ and ‘No you don’t.’