Russian and American election year – “Opportunity 08”

February 29, 2008

 This week-end’s big event: Russian presidential elections on Sunday!

Let’s see where the very likely winner Medvedev will take the country. But given that that the West has been very bad at dealing with Russia, I wonder if the next US president will be able to change tack and somehow be able to engage and tame the roaring Russian bear.

Worrying sign: Hillary Clinton – although apparently the best-informed US candidate on Russia – has demonstrated that she can’t even pronounce the name Medvedev…. I got this info from the really excellent Robert Amsterdam Russia-blog. Given that the US risks “Losing Russia”, we hope (oh no, that sounds like candidate Obama….!) that elections this year in both countries will bring change. Given Europe’ structural inability to take up the Russian challenge (a radical change in its foreign policy structures would be needed, as well as in its energy markets),  more immediate hopes can only be put on the United States. The Brookings Institution has a nice banner of the candidates (Huckabee is now lost). But I love the title: “Opportunity 08”. Let’s hope it will be seized in Russian affairs too.opp08_candidates001_rf.jpg

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