Choosing Medvedev as a successor to the post of the Russian President will indicate that the current president Vladimir Putin will still play an important role in the Russian policy for a long time.
"That event put an end to various gossips and prevented a potential instability in Russia. Choosing Medvedev indicates that Vladimir Putin will play an important role in the Russian policy for a long time even after he leaves the presidential position. Medvedev is Putin's protege," the senior researcher in the American Heritage Foundation Ariel Cohen said in an interview to the Washington Profile.
On 10 December, the Russian President supported Dmitriy Medvedev, the First Deputy Prime Minister, who is also head of the Board of Directors of Gazprom, as a candidate for the presidential position. "I completely support this suggestion," Putin said at the meeting with the heads of the four parties which will nominate Medvedev for the presidential elections on 2 March 2008. Medvedev will be supported by the Unified Russia and Fair Russia, which passed to the Parliament, as well as by the Agrarian Party and the Civil Force.
Cohen believes that the Russian policy is going through a very tough struggle. "Medvedev is weak in bureaucratic games and not experienced in working in the foreign scene. He does not have a direct relationship with the national security troops. Therefore, in near future he will require Putin's support. Furthermore, Medvedev is obliged to guarantee a significant political influence to Putin," the expert said.
Cohen said that Putin would enable Medvedev to act independently and the epoch of Medvedev may differ from that of Putin's. "Even if Medvedev does not direct Russia to actual democracy, he may stop Russia descending to totalitarianism. Moreover, Medvedev should remember that in Russia and the USSR the public always disliked weak leaders, such as Nicholas II, Georgiy Malenkov, Nikita Khrushchev, Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin. But strong leaders, such as Peter I, Ekaterina II, Vladimir Putin and even Joseph Stalin, have been always positively perceived. In order to achieve success, Medvedev must demonstrate his power," Cohen said.