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Putin maintains dominance in Russia

(Global Times)

08:19, September 26, 2011

Russia Prime Minster Vladimir Putin officially announced his intention to stand for president on Saturday. The current president Dmitry Medvedev announced he was ready to be the leader of the ruling party. Such a tacit understanding between Putin and Medvedev ended months of speculation over the future of Russian politics. It has at least become clear that the Putin dominance of Russian politics will not be challenged in the next decade.

Western media criticized Putin and Medvedev for jointly playing political games and condemned Putin as a dictator, but Russian media are in favor of the joint leadership. A new national development path of Russia is being gradually formed. It somewhat imitates Western democratic politics but also tries to differentiate itself from it.

The possibility of Russia becoming Westernized seems to have been excluded by Putin. But the real determinant is not Putin but the particular reality of Russia. As a country straddling Eurasia, sparsely populated but resource-rich, Russia has never had true modernization. The country's complex ethnic composition constitutes a lasting potential threat to its national unity. This is why centralization has been deeply rooted in its politics.

Russia made its trial of Western democracy in the first decade after the Soviet Union fell, but broadly failed. It is Putin who rebuilt national authority, brought back national order, and led Russia to prosperity while setting up his personal czar-like influence.

Russia is geographically and psychologically close to the West, but history has left many non-Western marks, especially the socialist past of the Soviet Union. Russia has established its own industrial system, because the country is too large and no single civilization could control it. It is bound to have a special and independent existence compared with other powers.

The Russia led by Putin was tough and not open enough, which made foreign enterprises reluctant to enter. Such a national image is disastrous for other countries, but it is what Russia needs. Especially when Russia's national strength is at a historically low level, it must use this stance to deter Western powers.

The Russian people's quality of life is recovering, and they have formed their own views on the relationship between democracy and authority. Western criticism of Moscow will not serve any purpose.

A Russia that follows Putin is in China's interests for now. In the long run, it may bring challenges to East Asia but this is hard to say now. The Russian revival is unstoppable and its relations with China will be more complex. Being more adaptable to the Putin-led route of development and maintaining the strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Russia should be the basic goals of China's Russia policy.


Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

helen at 2011-09-27141.0.9.*
Putin is the best thing that happens to Russia and perhaps to the World of nations.The emergence of Vladimir Putin and now ‘Putin the Great’ who hails from St. Petersburg (named after Peter the Great). Putin, inter alia, protects the interest of his people against the concerted hostile activities of the United States and its Western allies, who have never stopped even for a moment from their cold-war operations undermining the historic connection between the many diverse people that constituted the old Soviet Union. Putin founded the New Russia.For now, Russia is saved….much to the chagrin of US and European nations“Russia with its huge territory, almost two times the size of the United States, but half the population of the United States, has the richest deposit of mineral resources and the manpower to exploit and develop such resources. Russia is going to be the richest and greatest super power in the world far exceeding the combined wealth of the United States, Europe, South America and the Middle East. It is possible that there will never be a greater or wealthier nation than Russia in a century.”And many sovereign nations continue to respect and condone Putin. He, unlike others, dares to stand up against US Global Tyranny ...
Carlos Romanov at 2011-09-27117.135.84.*
Realistic and well written.

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