Speaking on BBC World News, Carnegie’s Matthew Rojansky argued that “the return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency doesn’t strengthen democracy. It doesn’t necessarily weaken things; it doesn’t necessarily worsen things.” Instead, Rojansky explained that Putin will maintain popular support because he represents continuity and stability.

Rojansky warned that Putin will likely face new challenges in the economic sphere as oil production and oil prices begin to fall. “There are some real economic storm clouds gathering,” Rojansky warned. He added that Putin’s return will not undo the reset in U.S.-Russia relations. “Putin has basically approved of the reset from the outset. I don’t think he’s going to roll back any of the major accomplishments of the reset,” Rojansky concluded.