Yulia Larynina, writing in the Moscow Times, revealed a possible secret plan by President Putin, Time’s Man of the Year, to maintain his power in Russia. Putin recently visited the nation of belarus which is ruled by an absolute dictator named President Alexander Lukashenko. The Russian delegation brought with them a document which would lead to creation of a union of the two nations including a president who would be elected by voters in the two countries. It is clear why Putin would seek such an arrangement since it would be a back door route to allowing him to maintain the office of president, only it would be president of two nations, not one. His successor, Dimitry Medvedev under this arrangement would be reduced to the role of second banana and would have limited power. Obviously, Lukashenko hesitated with this arrangement because he currently is complete control over his nation, why risk taking a crack at being subordinate to a president of the two nations/
However, according to Ms. Larynina, the dictator of Belarus may have made a mistake in turning down the offer. She believes virtually all Russian political parties opposed to Putin would have voted for Lukashenko out of spite, and even members of Putin’s party, United Russia might also have voted against him. In any case, the possibility of a union is a moot point because Lukashenko turned it down. He never even bothered to meet Putin at the airport and settled with his Russian friends on a new gas deal. We shall never know if Putin really wanted a union as an end run around the Russian constitution.