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Merkel luke-warm on Putin's likely return

The Local · 25 Sep 2011, 10:01

Published: 25 Sep 2011 10:01 GMT+02:00

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In a first reaction to Putin’s nomination to presidential candidate for his United Russia party – which effectively crowns him Russian leader – Merkel was less than warm about the prospect, but diplomatically optimistic.

She said she had worked well with current president Dmitry Medvedev until now. “The cooperation will be good with every Russian president, as Germany and Russia are joined by a strategic partnership.”

Putin, 58, was president for two terms from 2000 until 2008 when the Russian constitution says he had to be replaced. He stepped down in favour of Medvedev, becoming prime minister instead – and was broadly seen as continuing to pull the levers of Russian power.

Medvedev will most likely become prime minister again after the election next March.

The likely return of the former KGB agent who served in East Germany, to the head of the Russian government will be accompanied by ambitious plans.

He told his party conference that Russia’s economy must grow by up to seven percent a year, and should become one of the five biggest national economies in the world. He said he intended to create 20 million new jobs in modern industry over the coming 20 years.

Germany is highly dependent on Russian gas, and there is speculation that this could increase as the country’s nuclear power stations are closed by 2022.

Yet this July Merkel sought to shut off such assumptions during a visit to Germany by Medvedev, saying that Germany would develop its coal-fired electricity generation capacity, energy efficiency and renewable power sources over the coming years.

Story continues below…

DPA/DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:24 September 25, 2011 by DOZ
Putin should run a Campaign of offering former East Germany the choice of becoming a State of Russia. That should put the chill on Merkel and her Western Conspirators.
11:35 September 25, 2011 by storymann
What does this say about Russian politics??? Putin ,Medvedev, Putin, Putin,and Medvedev . simple enough (-:
20:27 September 25, 2011 by delvek
Medvedev is Putins alter ego. We all can be certain that nothing happens in Russia without Putins approval regardless of who is President.
18:34 September 26, 2011 by Major B
Western conspirators. Western conspirators? is so laughable.

Well, Czar Putin will have a chance to rule until age 72, aaccording to Sunday's Washington Post. Well, they didn't call him a Czar.

Now he is a man's man. An Alpha male who rides bikes, is tough as titanium, and loves Mother Russia. In all sincerity I say these are qualities to be admired.

But 20 years from now, Europeans will look back and say it could have different. Instead of slowing democracy, Russia is reverting back to time honored authoritianism, a technique useful when the Mongols were invading but now is hundreds of years out of style, especially with the demise of ccommunism.

Perhaps some Russian conspirators will rize up, have a Slavic SSpring, and overthrough the Czarist system once and for all.
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