| JRL Home | JRL Simple/Mobile | RSS | Newswire | Archives | JRL Newsletter | Support | About
Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

Putin's Pre-Election Manifesto Challenges Medvedev, Weafer Says

Kremlin and Saint Basil'sApril 21 (Bloomberg) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's call to avoid liberal "experiments" challenged President Dmitry Medvedev before the 2012 election, said Chris Weafer, the chief strategist at UralSib Financial Corp.

Putin, 58, yesterday told lawmakers that Russia needs decades of economic growth without "ill-thought-out" experiments to become one of the world's top five economies by 2020. Medvedev last week said he is nearing decision on running for a second term and called for a move beyond the achievements of the last decade, which included Putin's eight-year rule.

"We've had the manifestos for something like the U.S. primaries," Weafer said by phone yesterday. "Both men are setting out their case why they should be the candidate. In the end, I would expect only one will run."

Putin, a former KGB agent elected president in 2000 and 2004, stepped down in 2008 because of a ban on serving more than two consecutive terms, in favor of his hand-picked successor, Medvedev. Neither has ruled out running for president in next year's elections, saying they will discuss the issue together before making a decision.

Medvedev, who made fighting corruption and diversifying Russia's economy away from oil dependency the core of his program, on April 2 instructed eight senior government officials including Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who has worked with Putin for 20 years, to quit their jobs at state-owned companies giving way to independent directors.

'Election Manifesto'

"Two weeks ago, we got Medvedev's election manifesto, basically setting out the steps to be taken" Weafer said. "We had Putin's response today. His steps will be more careful and considered."

Putin's speech, which called for "improving the quality of the economy" by overhauling infrastructure, lessening dependence on energy and spurring innovation, helped ease investor concern that the two leaders represent opposing views of Russia's strategic development, Weafer said.

"Perhaps we simply have different views on methods and ways to achieve prosperity" in Russia, Medvedev told China Central Television April 12. "My course is modernization of the economy and political life. We shouldn't reject all the good we have done over the past 20 years and especially over the last 10 years, but we have to look ahead."

While the two leaders presented different ideas that produce an "illusion" of ideological conflict, Putin's speech may help bolster Medvedev's reputation as the more liberal candidate before national elections, said Stanislav Belkovsky, head of the Moscow-based Institute for National Strategy.

"It is important for the Kremlin to support the illusion that they are different, Putin being conservative and a supporter of stability while Medvedev is a democratic modernizer," Belkovsky said. "In this respect Putin helped Medvedev because now liberals will band together around Medvedev to avoid" Putin's return.

Article ©2011 BLOOMBERG L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; article first appeared at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-21/putin-s-pre-election-manifesto-challenges-medvedev-weafer-says.html

Keyword Tags:

Russia, Government, Politics - Russia, Economy, Business, Investment, Trade - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

Bookmark and Share - Back to the Top -        


Bookmark and Share

- Back to the Top -        

  Follow Johnson's Russia List on Twitter Tweet