Monday, 5 March 2012

Putin wins in Russia - will this mean a change in Syria?

Vladimir Putin, last night won the Russian election. He is President for the second time - even though the old law meant that this was not supposed to be possible. Leave aside whether he is a good President, or whether it was right for him to engineer a change in the law to ensure that he was allowed to run for President again - previously there was a constitutional ban on a third consecutive term as president, and leave aside many of the other ramifications concerning electoral fraud, and russia being effectively a one party state.
He will now be in office until 2018, and possibly longer, unless there is a Russian Spring.
Of more concern in the short term is the Russian attitude to Syria - they have been staunch supporters of Assad, and blocked the UN sanction attempt. Before the election the Times ran a story asbout how Putin may be softening his support for Syria. It is on this international issue that the new President will first be judged.