World Have Your Say question: Is a resurgent Russia good for the world?

Is a resurgent Russia good for the world? « World Have Your Say

Russia goes to the ballot boxes this weekend to elect a new president to replace Vladimir Putin, who’s been in charge since 2000. There’s only one candidate on the ballot – Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia. And he’s backed by President Putin, who’s then expected to take up the position of Prime Minister.

The BBC’s World Have Your Say is looking at Russia on Friday, and they’re asking if the West should be scared of Russia, and vice-versa.

Bear in mind this is the same Russia that has in recent years a) used economic warfare against Ukraine (gas cuts); b) used Internet warfare against Estonia; c) threatened to point missiles at NATO member countries Poland and the Czech Republic for hosting American defence systems; d) provided Iran with nuclear help; and e) threatened a new arms race.

Add to that Russia’s recent threat to the European Union over Kosovo’s independence, and one really struggles to see how the West should NOT be scared of Russia.

Should Russia be scared of the West? No, but its political masters will be. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe announced it would boycott this weekend’s elections earlier this month, after Moscow imposed harsh restrictions over election observers. But why should Moscow impose these restrictions? Their political leaders are afraid, that’s why. They know they’re fixing the results. They know challengers stand no chance. They know pro-Putin/Medvedev forces are intimidating voters and journalists. And they don’t want the OSCE to see it. The Kremlin is scared of real democracy; the kind the West preaches.

And yet, President Putin appears to suddenly have welcomed the Westminster system with open arms, with his new-found desire to become Prime Minister. And he will become Prime Minister. And he will rule Russia from outside the Kremlin.

Western powers beware.

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