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Dealing With the "New" Russia

June 6, 2008 • Volume 18, Issue 21
Will U.S.-Russian relations improve under Medvedev?
By Roland Flamini

Introduction

The election of Dmitry Medvedev, right, as Russia's new president and his appointment of former President Vladimir Putin as prime minister raise two intriguing questions: How will they share power, and what kind of relationship will they develop with the incoming American president?  (AFP/Getty Images/Yuri Kadobnov)
The election of Dmitry Medvedev, right, as Russia's new president and his appointment of former President Vladimir Putin as prime minister raise two intriguing questions: How will they share power, and what kind of relationship will they develop with the incoming American president? (AFP/Getty Images/Yuri Kadobnov)

Winston Churchill once famously called Russia "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." Viewed from Washington, or any Western capital, Churchill's observation still rings true in today's post-Soviet era. On May 7, Dmitry Medvedev became Russia's third president. But no one knows how much clout he'll exercise, given that he appointed his powerful predecessor, Vladimir Putin, as prime minister, a post that until now has been only marginal. Medvedev vows to fight corruption, strengthen the judicial system and reduce the vast country's bloated, entrenched bureaucracy, but so far his power base remains a mystery, as does his future relationship with Putin. Also a mystery: who the next U.S. president will be and how he will deal with the Kremlin's new power-sharing arrangement.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Russia and the Soviet Union
Feb. 07, 2014  Resurgent Russia
Feb. 21, 2012  Russia in Turmoil
Jun. 06, 2008  Dealing With the "New" Russia
Jun. 17, 2005  Russia and the Former Soviet Republics
Jan. 18, 2002  U.S.-Russia Relations
May 22, 1998  U.S.-Russian Relations
May 03, 1996  Russia's Political Future
Jul. 12, 1991  Soviet Republics Rebel
Nov. 03, 1989  Balkanization of Eastern Europe (Again)
Feb. 14, 1986  Gorbachev's Challenge
Jan. 07, 1983  Russia Under Andropov
Feb. 19, 1982  Soviet Economic Dilemmas
Feb. 06, 1981  Russia After Détente
Feb. 04, 1977  Sino-Soviet Relations
Feb. 20, 1976  Soviet Options: 25th Party Congress
Jun. 28, 1972  Dissent in Russia
Mar. 17, 1971  Russia's Restive Consumers
Dec. 03, 1969  Kremlin Succession
Oct. 18, 1968  Czechoslovakia and European Security
Apr. 22, 1964  Changing Status of Soviet Satellites
Jan. 29, 1964  Soviet Agriculture: Record of Stagnation
Aug. 08, 1962  Jews in Soviet Russia
Jul. 16, 1958  Tito and the Soviets
Jun. 26, 1957  Soviet Economic Challenge
Aug. 29, 1956  Restive Satellites
Mar. 11, 1955  Soviet Economic Strains
Nov. 04, 1953  Russia's European Satellites
Aug. 03, 1951  Soviet Peace Offensives
Jul. 01, 1948  Russia's War Potential
Jun. 21, 1943  Evolution of Soviet Policies
Mar. 01, 1943  Soviet Russia and the Border States
Aug. 15, 1930  The Soviet Five-Year Plan
Aug. 26, 1929  The League and the Sino-Russian Dispute
Feb. 04, 1924  The Problem of Russian Recognition
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union
U.S. at War: Cold War
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