The Moscow Times (an English language bi-weekly) runs an interesting article titled, "Russia Revising Great Game Rule Book." The point of the story is that the new game is energy. Perhaps it is right to call it the "Putin Doctrine." The new global competition (and opportunity) for Russia is in economics, especially oil production, pipelines, to supply China, Japan, and the U.S. Putin means to take advantage of the turmoil in the Middle East, and is, no doubt, looking forward to OPEC’s decline, if not demise. There is no reason to think that the Russian cannot be successful in this effort. Worth watching.
Of course to do that Russia will need political and financial stability. And I fear that they will be harder to achieve than drilling for oil or building pipelines.