This paper analyzes the main tasks to be addressed by the Russian leadership as the country experiences the rising costs of economic uncertainty exacerbated by the global financial crisis. The last decade has undoubtedly been characterized by restored statehood, political and social stability, and a powerful energy sector which has allowed Moscow to play a confident role in the international arena. As the prices of oil, gas and other extractable commodities have increased, so has Russia’s economic strength. Yet Russia is still far away from responding to its key challenge of modernizing the country. Today’s Russia is a country which is well-inserted in the circuits of globalization, but it still has social and economic development problems which have become particularly urgent in the twenty-first century. In this perspective the economic crisis can provide a unique opportunity for the Russian elite to implement the fundamental structural reforms needed to achieve modernization results.