President Dimitry Medvedev is still struggling to define himself and his role in the aftermath of assuming power from former president Putin who now serves as his prime minister. Medvedev was upset at the American decision to proceed with its missile shield agreement that allows it to place missiles on the soil of the Czech Republic. “This does not suit us,” said the president. “And while we, of course, won’t stir up any kind of hysteria, we will consider concrete steps.” He regards the missiles as a deliberately provocative action by the United States against a nation which has not displayed any aggressive attitude, and dismisses as ridiculous US claims the missiles are directed against “rogue states” like Iran.
On the issue of sanctions against Zimbabwe, President Medvedev displayed his ambiguity of feelings. He feels reluctant to condemn a fraudulent election since western nations made comments about the honesty of his own election, but he also was confronted by horrific pictures that displayed the brutality of the Mugabe government. Medvedev finally agreed to support the statement warning of possible financial sanctions. He allegedly caved in after Prime Minister Gordon Brown showed him pictures of burned and mutilated bodies of those who opposed the Mugabe government.