Tag Archives: Medvedev

Russia Is Corrupt Say Russians–So, What’s New?

Dimitry Medvedev on winning his election to the presidency of Russia earlier this year made it clear to one and all that fighting corruption was among his highest priorities. A recent survey this month reveals most Russians have not witnessed any improvement in their nation’s perennial corruption, whether under the name of the Tsar, the Soviet Union or modern Russia. According to state pollster VTsIOM, seventy four percent of respondents said corruption in their nation was “high” or “very high” while nineteen percent said it was the normal “average” corruption and an unusual large percent of ONE PERCENT said it was “low.” According to the poll 75% or Russians have not seen any sign of improvement in the corruption issue.

Indem, a Moscow based think tank that tracks corruption believes Russians pay about $319 Billion annually in bribes. That comes out to $2,250 for each Russian. Perhaps, the nation needs to unleash tough talking Prime Minister Putin to give one of his blunt demands for obeying the law.

Russia Rethinks Hostility Towards Georgia

President Medvedev has begun reconsidering his nation’s attitude toward Georgia. The Russian stock market was seriously impacted by recent events in Georgia which resulted in armed clashes between Russian and Georgian forces. Medvedev said his nation would do all in its power to restore friendly relations and pointed out over a million Georgians presently live in Russia. “We will do everything possible to restore friendly relations.” He accused NATO and the United States of attempting to create tension between his nation and Georgia. “What did NATO ensure? It only provoked the conflict, nothing else.” Medvedev is dealing with the reality of modern global economics which make it virtually impossible for a single industralized nation to stand apart from the world.

The president of Russia let the world know “there is no use returning to the past. We have made our choice” and it is toward restoring relations and working with other nations on the path to peace. Now, if one could only convince President Bush, working for peace ensures better results than fostering war.

Medvedev Discusses Perils And Dangers Of Georgia

Once upon a time, a few months ago, Western experts looked to newly elected President Medvedev as an individual who would be less aggressive than Prime Minister Putin, but those days now belong to a fairy tale rather than to reality. President Medvedev in a meeting with a group of Western political and academic specialists laid out a strong line defending his nation’s recent actions in Georgia that were pure Putinesque. he denounced American support for Saakashvili and warned the world might encounter further consequences from a Saakashvili who would “go nuts” and once again make decisions endangering world peace. The Russian leader urged a return to 20th century standards of careful attention to one another’s security issues. He described NATO’s decision to extend membership to Georgia as “unjust,” “humiliating,” and “intolerable” to Moscow.

Medvedev urged the West to think about what might have happened if Georgia was a member of NATO and called upon its membership to come to its aid when confronting Russia. He raised questions as to whether Saakashvili had been used by the United States to create tension with Russia. The Russian president said Saakashvili had wanted to meet with him, but after a Rice visit, changed his mind. He also completely rejected the Bush claim missile bases in Poland were aimed at rogue nations, they are “directed at us. No other variant is possible.”

It is rather interesting that neither John McCain nor Barack Obama has raised the Georgia conflict as an example of Bush incompetence.

Dueling Words, Not Swords Between Russia And EU

President Dimitry Medvedev praised the European Union for abandoning talk about instituting sanctions against his nation. He blamed failure on the part of European nations and the United States to understand Russian motivation and actions for the current crisis. The heads of the 27 EU nations failed to agree on a common course of action that would institute economic sanctions which led Medvedev to conclude “a reasonable realistic point of view prevailed.” Russian officials pointed the finger of creating discord at Poland, and the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia which formerly belonged to the Soviet Union.

President Sarkozy who currently heads the EU will be in Moscow this coming week and hopes to resolve issues with the Russian government but if that fails, he believes there will be necessity to “re-examine our partnership with Russia.” Sarkozy is very careful to avoid policies which will result in isolating Russia.

US and NATO ships are now in the Black Sea bringing supplies to Georgia. Prime Minister Putin claims the US is bringing in weapons for the Georgia army and expressed concern about the presence of so many ships in the Black Sea.

At present, there are exchanges of angry words, but no military action is expected in the future.

Russia–America, A Failure To Communicate!

Vladmir Frolov, writing in the Moscow Times, task to task both the United States and Russia for failing to communicate with one another about Georgia which has resulted in worsening of relations between the two nations. “the failure of Moscow and Washington to communicate over the conflict in Georgia has led to a rhetorical race that now threatens to shatter the U.S. Russia relationship. Personal pique and spite have begun to cloud the leaders’ judgment.” Frolov says Moscow initially failed to convey to America its resolve not to allow Georgia to take over South Ossetia and President Medvedev should personally have called Bush to let him know in no uncertain terms that Georgia’s invasion would be repulsed. He also blames the US State Department for not making clear to Saakhasvili it was a mistake to launch an invasion of South Ossetia.

He blasts the stupid remark of Secretary of State Condi Rice comparing as equal the Russian occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 with Russia’s response to an invasion by Georgia in 2008. Forlov praises Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, for acting calmly in the crisis and to point out that Saakhasvili was exaggerating the situation. Gates is most probably the only sane and rational person in the Bush administration.

Forlov says he has been told that President Medvedev sent a personal aide, Igor Yurgens to Washington last week in order to begin the process of restoring sanity to relations between the USA and Russia.

The situation could be different if Bush had called Medvedev to let him know the United States did no approve of Saakhasvili’s action.

Medvedev Seeks Allies In The East

The negative reaction from Western powers to Russia’s lightening strike against Georgia has caused President Medvedev to turn eastward seeking support from friendly nations like China and former members of the Soviet Union. A spokesperson with the Foreign Ministry said: “We are hoping that our efforts in resolving the conflict in Georgia will be acknowledged.” Nations like Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are being contacted in order to establish a new coalition in south Asia. However, about the only nation to actually express support for Russian action has come from Belarussian president Alexander Lukashenko.

The Georgia crisis has resulted in some interesting changes in a Russia which finds itself diplomatically isolated from most nations of the world. President Medvedev has also emerged from his quiet place in the back of the room and is asserting leadership within his nation. Ironically, the Georgia crisis may have resulted in a new conflict between Prime Minister Putin and the president over issues of power.

Russia Throws Down Gauntlet To West!

President Dimitry Medvedev made clear to Western nations his country was not afraid to challenge the European Union and the United States on recent events in Georgia. He announced a decree had been signed recognizing Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations. He insisted the decision was necessary because of Georgia policies that he termed as “genocide.” In defiant tones he said: “We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new cold War. But, we don’t want t, and in this situation everything depends on the position of our partners.” His statement resulted in a dramatic drop in the Russian stock market which plunged 6.1%.

President Saakashvili interpreted the Medvedev statement as evidence that (Russia’s) invasion of Georgia was part of a broader premeditated plan to redraw the map of Europe.” The problem with the Saakashvili comment is that Georgia was the one which initiated the war, not Russia. If Georgia had not sent its forces into the two breakaway provinces, Russia would have remained on the sideline. How could Russia be responsible for a “premeditated attack” when everything revolved around Georgia’s decision to send or not send forces into the regions?

I’m In Charge, Medvedev Tells Russian Solders!

The war in Georgia, ironically, is creating a war of words inside Russia as President Dimitry Medvedev is now challenging Prime Minister Putin in making clear to the fighting men of their nation who is in charge. Medvedev made a surprise visit to Vladikavkaz, near the border with South Ossetia in order to give Russian soldiers a pep talk and make his presence known to those on the front lines. “In Tskhinvali, ou didn’t think about yourself,” he told them, “and in fulfilling your soldierly duty well understood that you were essentially the last hope for defenseless people.” He told them their actions in Georgia would “become one of the glorious pages in the history of the armed forces.”

There are reports his visit was part of a campaign of damage control to wrest the limelight away from Prime Minister Putin whose face and image have dominated Russian response to the Georgian attack. Prime Minister Putin is not the sort of person who welcomes competition when it is a matter of letting the world know who really is in charge of Russia, and Medvedev may have finally realized there is need on his part to be more publicly present in the lives of the Russian people.

It is interesting to note the change in language used by Medvedev who has been known for his calm and scholarly manner of speaking. Now, he throws around words such as “bastards” and “hooligans” to describe the enemy. He made clear in recent speeches his determination to be the one telling the West they must respect his nation.

Chancellor Merkel Meets With President Medvedev

Chancellor Merkel of Germany flew to the Russian black sea resort of Sochi to meet with Russian leader, Dimitry Medvedev. The purpose of her meeting was to reduce tension which had risen over the past few days as charges and threats flew back and forth from Russian and American diplomats. Merkel urged President Medvedev to respect the territorial integrity of Georgia, but he felt in light of the Georgian invasion neither South Ossetia nor Abkhazia wanted anything to do with being part of Georgia. Merkel argued for an international peace keeping presence in Georgia which was not opposed by the Russian leader. “We are not against international peace keepers,” he said, but emphasized South Ossetia and Abkhazia would not accept them and only wanted Russian soldiers to protect them.

Chancellor Merkel was able to get a slight backing down on the part of Russian leaders when she expressed concern over remarks made by General Anatly Nogovitsyin who hinted at an attack on any missile bases the US would build in Poland. Medvedev expressed his sadness at the American decision to construct missile bases in Poland but assured Chancellor Merkel, although that decision is “sad news for all who lie on this densely populated continent, but it is not dramatic.”

War Of Words Continues In Georgia

The fragile peace that now reigns in Georgia raises hopes the shooting phase of the war between Russia and Georgia may finally have ended after six days of intensive fighting. President Medvedev of Russia proclaimed: “the aim of the operation has been achieved. The aggressor has been punished and has suffered considerable losses.” He termed President Saakashvili to be a “lunatic” and continued the tough talking begun by Prime MInister Putin during the conflict by adding, the difference between lunatics and other people is that when they smell blood it is very difficult to stop them. So, you have to use surgery.” Although the Russian leader claimed fighting had halted, the president of Georgia was saying, “As I speak now, Russian tanks are attacking Gori.” However, a witness in Gori told Reuters news agency he saw no Russian tanks in Gori.

The entire episode of fighting and killing can be blamed on failure of both sides to place their confidence in diplomatic strategies of resolving conflict. President Saakashvili initiated fighting on the assumption, his nation could simply enter South Ossetia and never encounter Russian forces. In a sense, his confusion and mistakes are similar to those of his good friend, George Bush who entered Iraq with an assumption it would be a quick victory. In both cases myopic thinking resulted in the death of thousands.

Russia has shown the West it once again has a strong military force that is capable of action. Perhaps, the time has come to end provocative acts such as building missile bases on the border of Russia.