Russia is the second most powerful country in the world, according to a new ranking presented at the Davos World Economic Forum. Lagging only behind the US, experts gave Russia a 9.4 rating in the "power" category, described as the capacity to "project influence on the world stage".
The team from News And World Report, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and BAV Consulting assessed the power of countries around the world on the basis of their leadership, economic influence, political influence, and international and military alliances. The US was ranked first, scoring 10, while China came third with 8.7 points.
Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has aggressively asserted its influence, annexing Crimea after the government of ally ViktorYanukovych was ousted in Ukraine, and in recent months launching a military campaign in Syria to prop up the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
However Russia did not fare so less well in other categories, ranking 10th in the economy category, and 60th in the open to business category, as the ruble continues to lose value as a result of economic sanctions imposed by the West and low energy prices.
Despite its economic situation, defence spending continues to rise, with 4.5% of GDP spent on its military budget. Though that budget was slashed in 2015 as the country's economic crisis took hold, spending is still expected to rise in 2016 by 25.5 billion rubles.
In the best country category, which ranks countries according to their overall score, it fared worse than India and Brazil at 24th, while Germany came first.
The ranking was presented at the conference of world economic leaders on 20 January, and compares 60 countries in numerous categories, including data from a survey of 16,000 people.