28
Jan
09

Good cop/Bad cop: the new Russian order

medvedev_putinPeople either describe the relationship between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the President Dmitry Medvedev as purely hierarchical, or on the other hand as a potential struggle for power.

I believe the trend of their relations is somewhere between, perpetually swinging between loyalty and ambition. Not to forget Russia’s vital interests which are sacred for both Putin and Medvedev.

I sometime have the feeling that no one in Western countries take in consideration the fact that they are both true patriots (not to say nationalists!!!).

Im being voluntarily provocative in my posts title. Putin/Medvedevs relation can not be reduced to this Hollywood type duet.

Of course, Vladimir Putins popularity rates abroad have been seriously harmed by the wars in Chechnya and in Georgia, as well as by his steady and aggressive desire to bring Russia back to the front of the international scene.

On the contrary, Dmitry Medvedev is well known in Western chancelleries to be a moderate and somehow liberal man, with whom they believe, it will be easier to work with.

But what are we starting to experience? When it comes to Russia’s strategic interests and greatness, there are no any differences between the two men.

Whenever dealing with a matter touching the very heart of power, the two get perfectly along.

On another hand, we have also witnessed these past weeks a number of hints showing that Medvedev does not intend, if he has ever, to remain any longer in Putin’s shadow.

Few weeks ago, while Putin was at the World Economic Forum in Davos struggling against the US financial imperialism (for once, I think he gave this day a very iinspiring speech), Medvedev met the director of Novaya Gazeta.

It might seem a insignificant gesture, but people shall know that in todays Russia, Novaya Gazeta is the most (if not the only) critical newspaper against Russian authorities. 

Medvedev also ousted four governors since the beginning of the year, who had been appointed by… Putin. It might just be a coincidence, but these are signs in Russia of a more flexible and balanced relationship.

Will it last? Will it succeed? Only future can tell, but it is ignorance to believe that Russia is a monolithic country, fully devoted to Putin.

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