The rather unusual arrangement of leadership in Russia has left many European nations wondering exactly who makes final decisions– the president of Russia or its prime minister? There is still no clear indication as to who calls the foreign policy shots. President Medvedev just returned from a visit to China and now Prime Minister Vladmir Putin is headed for France where he will not only meet with the French prime minister but with President Sarkozy as well. There is no question Putin is exerting more power than any previous Russian prime minister. However, Putin’s spokesman, “Dimitry Peskov, said: “Russia’s foreign policy is determined by the president, as stipulated in the Constitution.”
It is possible that Putin and Medvedev are sharing foreign policy relations as marked by the president’s Asian visit the past week while Putin is heading for western Europe. Perhaps, the two men have divided up the world, but, even in the best of relationships there comes a time when two people will disagree. The real outcome of the division of responsibility will be played out over time when the two friends discover they have differences and who will come out on top when that occurs?
Most Shakespeare plays about kings and power invariably contain bloody scenes in which rivals vie for power. Will the world witness the enactment of another Shakespeare play in Moscow?