Saturday, May 14, 2011

Medvedev's Shot Across the Bow of the SS Putin

Al Jazeera is reporting as I sit here that President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia could face civil war or stagnation if too much power was concentrated in the hands of one man, an apparent jibe at the prime minister, Vladimir Putin.
Keep in mind that there is a presidential vote in March 2012.  Neither has announced, but it is beginning to look like a showdown.
Here's the money quote in response to a question about parliamentary democracy:

"An excessive concentration of power is indeed a dangerous thing: it has happened in this country many times and as a rule it has either led to stagnation or civil war.
We must not allow that. Attempts to build up power to fit a certain individual are dangerous. If they do not cause trouble today, you must not doubt that they will cause great problems for the country and for the individual in the not-too-distant future. We must think about this and remember the lessons of history."

This is the second veiled attack. The first came earlier this year, when Mr Medvedev slapped down Mr Putin for criticising western military intervention in Libya and then ordered Putin allies to leave the boards of state companies such as Rosneft.

Is Russia becoming interesting again?

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