Give Medvedev a Chance, Says Poland

Yes, that’s right – Poland, the same country whose leaders have so regularly berated and criticized Vladimir Putin, is now declaring the second coming with the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has told the FT, “We should always give credit to a new leader and Mr Medvedev is an interesting person because he is the first Russian leader in my memory who doesn’t come from the Communist party or the security services. It is a hopeful development,” he said. (…) [He] also suggested that Mr Medvedev could be good for relations between Russia and the European Union because the new president was a lawyer and would be well placed to deal with such a law-based organisation. This also comes on the heels of President Lech Kaczynski’s “softening” of Russia policy – making clear that Poland would not connect the Ukraine-Georgia NATO membership talks to its veto over EU-Russian relations. Poland is one of Russia’s main stumbling blocks in the EU, and if Medvedev is successful in winning over Sikorski like this, he wins greater political credit against the policy proposals of the hawkish siloviki in the Kremlin. The liberal factions need proof that playing friendly with the West produces results. Now, he’ll have to do the same with Lithuania.