Once again, Putin sticks the knife into Medvedev and Twists
We’ve previously documented the ongoing efforts of Vladimir Putin’s henchman (and namesake) Vladmir Frolov to undermine the authority of Dima Medvedev at every opportunity with vicious attacks on his comptetence. And now he’s done it yet again, reaching for a new low in poisonous treachery. Mr. Medvedev should be afraid. Very afraid. His days are numbered.
Frolov blasts Medvedev for being humiliated first by the visit of Joe Biden to Georgia and Ukriane (pointing out that both countries used the occasion as a pretext to expel Russian diplomats), and then by Turkmenistan’s joining up with the forces of Nabucco, and then by being spurned at the CIS summit but not one but four major CIS leaders.
Then Frolov really gets nasty:
The sharpest slap in the face came from Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, who instructed his top diplomats to develop closer ties with the West and called the Russia-Belarus union “a failed project.” Lukashenko’s Foreign Ministry issued a bold statement that reaffirmed Belarus’ recognition of Georgia’s sovereignty over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, despite Moscow’s persistent prodding that Minsk recognize them as independent states.
Lukashenko continued to stall Medvedev at last week’s Collective Security Treaty Organization summit on agreement to form a rapid-response force, while the presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan resisted the opening of a Russian military base near the Fergana Valley.
To add insult to injury, Tajikistan announced it would ban the use of Russian by state agencies and in official documents, while asking Russia to pay commercial rates for its military base there.
These multiplying rebuffs by Russia’s closest neighbors are putting pressure on Medvedev to respond toughly to reassure the Russian people that their country is not being treated like a doormat. Putin never allowed such indignities to go unanswered. The leaders of Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia learned that lesson the hard way.
Medvedev needs to walk a fine line between appearing tough domestically and pragmatic globally, but he cannot afford to be perceived as weak as the slights to Russia increase. Neither can he afford to have Putin settle the scores for him.
Frolov is saying, in so many words, that not only has Medvedev failed as a foreign policy leader he has humiliated Russia before the world and endangered Russian national security. One can easily imagine him calling in his next column for Medvedev’s ouster and even arrest. His words “Putin never allowed such indignities to go unaswered” is truly sadistic, and terrifying. Echoes of Stalin.