Speaking about changes needed in his country, Russia’s finance minister Aleksei L. Kudrin said the following:

“Very clear rules are needed, and very understandable institutions — a very good judicial system, so that everybody will feel confident in his investments, in fair arbitration, in courts and in very efficient work of the government and federal bodies under its authority,” he said. “Of course, we will get away from our dependence on oil. It will be very difficult — it is necessary to create good rules of the game, and both Putin and Medvedev understand it.”

Insert the name of any oil-rich Gulf country (UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar come to mind), and his statement would be equally applicable.

Of course, there are powerful forces at work in Russia that will prevent those reforms from materializing.