January 23rd, 2012

Why Putin will stay in power for the foreseeable future

He’s stuck between an (alleged) $40 billion fortune and a hard place.

Prime Minister Putin

Michael Bohm writes in the Moscow Times that the only way for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to ensure his continued economic prosperity – not to mention his freedom – is to stay in power, as the once-and-future Russian president could be subject to “possible corruption and other criminal charges” should he leave office.

Bohm explains:

As long as Putin remains in control, Western leaders will continue to do business as usual with him and his administration, and they will ignore or downplay allegations of corruption at the very top.

Should an opposition leader rise to power, a Putin trial – over the theft of Yukos, or over “corruption […] at Gazprom, VTB, Transneft, Russian Technologies, National Media Group, Gunvor, the Rotenberg brothers’ enterprises, Bank Rossia, arms trader Rosoboronexport and dozens of other companies that make up Putin’s ‘Russia, Inc.’” – would soon follow.

Bohm writes that Western leaders have shown in the last decade they have no trouble turning on a former dictatorial ally (Mubarak) or to go from tolerating a dictator to actively seeking his removal from power (Gadhafi).

“A similar fate could await Putin,” Bohn concludes, unless, of course, after two more presidential terms a 72-year-old Putin flees to friendly Belarus – or finds a way to stay in power into his sunset years.

Read the full article here.

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