A Party Without Putin

April 19, 2012 by

In addition to swapping government posts, the political tandem of Putin and Medvedev, which has dominated Russian politics for the past half decade, may be configuring yet another switch. According to the Russian newspaper, Vedomosti, President-elect Vladimir Putin and soon-to-be Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev are set to separately meet with leading members of the ruling United Russia Party in late May.

Russia Unlikely to see Reforms Post-Medvedev

April 9, 2012 by

There is a Russian proverb, “Не пеняй на зеркало, коли рожа крива,” which loosely translates as, “Don’t blame the mirror for your ugly face”. Ironically, Russia’s ruling elite are not blaming themselves for the shortcomings of the so-called, Putin-Medvedev tandem.

GOP and Putin Find Common Ground: The Cold War

April 3, 2012 by

Republican Presidential primary front-runner Mitt Romney declared Russia “without question, [is] our No. 1 geopolitical foe.” This statement accompanied a larger criticism lobbied against President Obama and his hot mic slip last week with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev at the Seoul Nuclear Summit.

The Foreign Policy President?

April 3, 2012 by

Elections are decided by economics. Voters respond to pocketbook issues and are swayed by the huge sums that candidates lavish on advertising. Foreign policy issues, by contrast, are what the British call “noises off,” those sounds from off-stage that you hear occasionally to punctuate the main actions, sounds like exploding bombs and the distant cries of suffering people. According to recent polling, global issues barely register at all with Americans right now.

Romney’s Foreign Policy and Russia

March 30, 2012 by

Obama’s recently concluded trip to South Korea to liaise with world leaders to address nuclear security and the Iranian nuclear saga went according to schedule, until an “open mic” caught Obama making rather casual comments to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stating he believed he would have more flexibility to address lingering issues related to nuclear arms reduction after the November election.

Russia, America, and the Best Three Years

March 27, 2012 by

During a meeting with his American counterpart Barack Obama in Seoul, President Dmitry Medvedev made a striking comment, calling the past three years “probably the best three years in Russian-U.S. relations in the past decade.” What made these years so remarkable? Perhaps it was that, for the first time in a long time, Russian and American diplomats made a genuine effort to bring their countries closer together. And it doesn’t matter that the results were mixed.

Protest Movement Shows Signs of Turning Local

March 10, 2012 by

Much has been said in the recent days about the imminent decline of the protest movement after Vladimir Putin’s undisputed victory in the presidential elections. But a whole new trend has emerged during the rally on Novy Arbat on Saturday – a shift of the emphasis to local politics in the city of Moscow where a number of young independent candidates have been elected to municipal councils on the same day as Putin won the national poll.

Video: RT interview with Daniel Wagner

March 8, 2012 by

Below is RT’s interview with Daniel Wagner, CEO of Country Risk Solutions, and a regular contributor to International Policy Digest. Daniel Wagner is author of “Managing Country Risk” which is available for sale on Amazon. Daniel discussed the recent presidential elections in Russia that witnessed Vladimir Putin’s victory by significant margins.

The Russian Winter: A Warm-up

March 5, 2012 by

All over Russia voters cast their ballots for President this Sunday. Despite the unprecedented public demonstrations over the last few months, Vladimir Putin claimed a convincing first round win. The “Russian Winter” protests nevertheless represent a milestone in post-Soviet culture and set the stage for next chapter of Russia’s political development.

Russia and the War on Terror: The Multiplicity of Roles

January 9, 2012 by

The current geopolitical situation is quite different from that during the Cold War. One of the salient characteristics of the period is that there are few stable geopolitical marriages, so to speak. During the Cold War, global alignments were clearly divided between the West, with the USA as leader, and the USSR, with its proxies and allies.

Russians United against United Russia

December 23, 2011 by

In the past two weeks a number of different rallies took place in Russia. The most memorable of these, on December 10, was the biggest protest in Russia since the fall of communism. People in cities all around Russia went onto the streets. In Moscow, estimates of the number of protesters ranged from 25,000 to 100,000. Although organized by a range of groups and political parties with few common goals, the protests are united around one issue: the alleged vote rigging by the United Russia party.

Managed Democracy in Russia

December 22, 2011 by

The unprecedented wave of public protest, visible in the continuing anti-government popular demonstrations that emerged in Russia following the recent and largely orchestrated election results to the Duma, are unlikely to subside in the near future. Russians are demanding reforms and the Kremlin has been slow to address the concerns of the voters.

Analysis: Russian state TV gingerly breaks silence on dissent

December 15, 2011 by

Russian state television, long known for omitting coverage of political dissent in news broadcasts, moved recently into new territory when it covered the largest anti-government protests here for nearly two decades. In light of that shift, which caught many by surprise, the question people are asking now, analysts say, is: Was that coverage a one-off event or might it signal an easing in government management of news broadcasting on state networks?

Russia protests elections but Putin is safe…for now

December 13, 2011 by

The lead-up to the elections for the State Duma in Russia on December 4 gave no hint of the turmoil that was to follow. In the days after the voting, large numbers of Russians took to the streets in cities and towns across the country to protest against what they saw to be a fraudulent electoral process, and to demand the cancellation and re-running of the elections.

Uncertain World: Vladimir Putin 3.0

September 30, 2011 by

Foreign commentators on Russian foreign policy have lost their hobby horse. They will no longer have to rack their brains over who in the Medvedev-Putin tandem exerts greater influence on Russian foreign policy. The experiment is over and the informal leader comes to the fore. True, now a different topic will be discussed for some time – how will the Kremlin’s conduct change as a result?

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