05 Aug 2010

Modernisation and a new political game in Russia?

Félix Krawatzek

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When President Medvedev took office in 2008, it was widely expected that former President Putin would take back the reins by 2012, at the latest. The change in the constitution in December 2008 to extend the presidential term to six years was widely seen as a strengthening of President Putin’s tenure in the future. Against all expectations, however, it is Medvedev who is increasingly distinguishing himself from his former mentor by proposing an independent political project for Russia, which has at its heart the ‘modernisation’ of the country. In this new Commentary, Félix Krawatzek, visiting Researcher to CEPS, explains why 2012 will be a decisive year for Russia and an interesting one for the rest of the world.