The Two-Headed Eagle

Russian Elections

In politics, even when like-minded people occupy rival posts, differences emerge. In such a scenario prevailing in Russia, would the world see a state co-headed by the two so-called ‘like-minded’ people, one being the new President of Russia, Dimtry Medvedev and the other, Russia’s most popular leader in decades, Vladimir Putin?

The public appearance made by the duo at Moscow’s Red Square on Sunday, where Medvedev was termed as the representative of Russia’s new and aspiring middle class, and a cosmopolitan politician who likes the 70’s music. However, politics is more than being just sophisticated and appreciating music, it’s about power. Analysts and politicians who commented after Medvedev won the elections, said that he might not be able to defer Putin for too long, despite their professional relationship, that lasts nearly three decades.

Putin, who declared Medvedev as his successor, has agreed to take on the Prime Minister’s post in the month of May. According to Mikhail Kasyanov, Putin will have the upper hand in the beginning, but the tables could turn any time. The ex-President announced in a press conference that the Prime Minister would have the ultimate executive power. According to sources, he has already arranged for Medvedev, to promise him to retain his influence, and said that he plans to keep it as long as his protégé is in Kremlin.

The situation now, in Russia, is that there are two centers of power in Russia. Endorsed by his mentor, Medvedev recently insisted on an interview that it is he who would have the ultimate power.

The conflict has already started. After all, the President is the Head of the State and one, who sits on the Kremlin, would have the ultimate say. The country has a history of being governed by Central Supreme Authority. First, it was the czar monarchy, and now it’s the communist party.

The Prime Minister draws the Budget and implements foreign as well as defense policies. Under the eight year Putin regime, the Prime Minister focused more on bureaucrats than policy makers.

Russians are happy at the moment, as they believe that Medvedev will follow his mentor’s path, Putin, who was credited with Russia’s economic resurgence.

Power has a different feel of its own. Questions are being raised as to whether Medvedev who was always under Putin and worked according to Putin’s will, would behave the same if that kind of need ceased to exist.

A chief strategist in Moscow said, “We can expect Medvedev to change his priorities. If there is a clash, we will witness it.”

In the mean time, the two are denying the possibility of any such differences that might crop up. Their close relations would help them to co-exist and work for Russia. They trust each other and will maintain a friendly partnership.

Now, only time will decide what is in store for the future. Will Medvedev take away the power from Putin piece by piece, or would the duo govern the country, synchronizing peacefully?

Aakanksha Ahluwalia