RFE/RL, March 05, 2012
Now that Vladimir Putin has secured a third term in the Kremlin, what can we expect from him? RFE/RL correspondent Brian Whitmore spoke to veteran Russia-watcher Edward Lucas, a longtime correspondent for the British weekly "The Economist" and author of "Deception: Spies, Lies, and How Russia Dupes The West."
RFE/RL: As expected, Vladimir Putin has won another term in the Kremlin. But the opposition appears undeterred and is set to stage a protest in Moscow on March 5. Where do you see things going from here?
Edward Lucas: I think Putin has won the battle but he's lost the war. And he's lost the war in two senses. The promises he made in the election campaign are unsustainable. He can't deliver them with oil at $110 a barrel, so he is going to be disappointing his supporters. He's also lost the war [in] that he can't convince the protesters that Russia is on track toward modernization and a pluralistic political system.
RFE/RL: What do you see happening in terms of Russia's relations with the West with Putin returning as president?
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'It's Going To Be Messy' - Edward Lucas On Putin's Return (2)