“Doing business in Russia is like doing business anywhere else, but different.”
Now that I am getting involved with new ventures with Russians and/or on Russian soil, I am reapproaching all I have experienced and written about in my book, “Walking on Ice, An American Businessman in Russia” and measuring how things have continued to change. It seems the positive has become more positive, and the negative more negative. But there does seem to be hope. “Hope dies last in Russia” a respected business friend said once. The fact is the opportunity, if carefully developed, is there and promising.
Progess is inevitable, because that demarcation line between the old world and the new is every day moving upward. The line is now at about age 45 – those below are bringing new thought and energy to the Russian world. These younger Russians are well educated, experienced, responsible, and dedicated. Those over that line are to one degree or another still in the mindset of the past. That past is not just the Soviet past, but the autocratic past of a thousand years. But, even those in the younger group, have lots of inherited mindset to change. It is possible, I firmly believe, to be an effective, successful, responsible member of the greater world and still enjoy the honored cultural identity of being Russian. But, “In Russia, everything is difficult, and everything is possible.”