Analysis on President Putin Sean Weatherston Rajeev Rao Nathan Harpainter Andrés Cáceres-Solari
Agenda • PUTIN’S CHARACTER • PUTIN’S HISTORY • PUTIN’S POLICY • WORLD’S PERCEPTION OF PUTIN
Warrior Putin • Beaten up in Leningrad as a boy so he decided to take martial arts. • Holds a black belt in Judo and has co-authored a book on the subject. • His dealings with Chechnya and Islamic terrorists reflect this spirit. • He sometimes seems willing to win at any cost.
Putin the Spy • Wanted to be in the KGB since he was a boy. • Can be very secretive and vague. • Dislike for relative disorder of democracy. • Has an affinity for organization and detail and is frustrated with bureaucracy. • Went up against the oligarchs.
Orthodox Putin • Baptized in secret by his mother. • Regularly visits a chapel within the Kremlin. • Confesses to a kind of personal, on-call priest. • Supports Orthodoxy youth movements.
President Putin • Goes to sleep late and gets up late. • Starts his day with a workout. • Enjoys Spanish wine, vodka, and cognac from Dagestan. • Can be passionate and emotional, but also humorous and witty. • Operates a tight group of very few trusted individuals within the Kremlin. • Was stationed in Dresden and often called a Germanophile. • Refered to by some as a 'German in the Kremlin.'
Putin’s character summary • "Vladimir Putin is not a democrat. Nor is he a czar like Alexander III, a paranoid like Stalin, or a religious nationalist like Dostoyevsky. But he is a little of all these—which is just what Russians seem to want." - Paul Starobin • Putin's character is difficult to pinpoint and only seems to reassert the uncertainty of his future actions.
KGB Service in Germany • Posted from 1985-1990 • Unremarkable career, but promoted twice • Experienced the Fall of the Berlin Wall
Return to Soviet Union • In 1990 Putin and his family move to St. Petersburg • Becomes Deputy Mayor under Anatoly Sobchak • Later on, holds positions in the President’s Directorate, an as Head of the New Federal Security Bureau
Prime Minister under Yeltsin • Appointed Prime Minister in 1999 • Orders troops into Chechnya • December 31, becomes acting President
Middle East policy • Largest sponsor of Iranian nuclear goals • Pro Israel policy • Arms sales to Syria • Duma demand of C.A. as area of influence, oppose US bases in UZB and KYG • RUS mil installation protection
Eastern Europe policy • Belarus agreement, ties, close to single state, warm and cold • Ukraine efforts (black sea ports, EU muscle), complicated by Anti-Russia govt, PM • Estonia and Poland closures of Soviet memorials, open criticism • Economic and polt sanctions on Estonia • EUR Missile defense, cooperation AZB
South East Asia • Energy and trade ties with Vietnam, re expand ties with old allies (base 2000) • Write off 70% of Laos debt, pledge to modernize armed forces • Pledge to prioritize APEC policy. • Pledge to strengthen econ and mil ties with Indonesia
Latin America • Elections of anti-American leaders offer area of influence (BOL, VEN, NIC) • Military equipment deals throughout the continent • Oil exploitation via LUKoil • Little Cuba aid, won’t write off debt.
Policy Summary • Pres Putin is reaching out to old allies throughout the world in order to reassure old sphere of influences. • Economically and military modernization • Political and mil very limited unlike USSR times • Policy fiercely opposes western presence in old USSR republics, losing old allies (UKR, Baltics)
Mr. Clean • “Like Russian voters, foreign leaders were at first beguiled by Mr. Putin's difference from his predecessor, the erratic and unpredictable Boris Yeltsin. Mr. Putin was sober, business-like, apparently reliable and impressively committed to macroeconomic stability.” -Rose Gottemoeller, The Carnegie Moscow Centre January 20, 2006. • “Putin is a cipher, a spectre that has become a fairytale leader without vice, fear, or personal history, a figure dreamt up by a troubled society, still recovering from years of dictatorship.” - Nick Paton Walsh Guardian Unlimited, February 29, 2004 http://www.carnegie.ru/en/pubs/media/73719.htm http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,1158463,00.html
Shifting Perceptions • Harassment of oligarchs, repression of the media, increasing centralized control, and Chechnya started to change foreigners’ opinion. • Approach to foreign policy viewed by others as a “zero sum game” attitude. • Involvement in the internal politics of neighboring countries.
The Cynical View • “Whether by waging cyberwarfare on Estonia, threatening the gas supplies of Lithuania, or boycotting Georgian wine and Polish meat, he has, over the past few years, made it clear that he intends to reassert Russian influence in the former communist states of Europe, whether those states want Russian influence or not.At the same time, he has also made it clear that he no longer sees Western nations as mere benign trading partners, but rather as Cold War-style threats”-Anne Applebaum, Telegraph, June 5, 2007 • He sees foreign policy as a way not only to raise revenues for the state and his political allies (through arms sales and special commercial relations with China, India and Iran) but also to increase respect for the state among the Russians themselves. In this way, he uses foreign policy to shore up his drive for domestic political and economic order.” - Kim R. Holmes, The Heritage Foundation, July 12, 2001. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/06/05/do0502.xml http://www.heritage.org/Research/RussiaandEurasia/WM22.cfm
General Perception of Russia • Russia in general is viewed more negatively in the west with 53% in one poll responding that Russia has a mainly negative influence on the world. • An substantial percentage (68) of Americans feel unfavorable towards Russia’s use of threat and force in foreign policy. • 55% of Americans have a negative view of Putin while Bush had 51% disapproval and Chinese President Hu Jintao had a 63% rating. http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/home_page/200.php?nid=&id=&pnt=200&lb=hmpg2