TODAY: Medvedev legislation to extend presidential term paves way for Putin’s return; Rogozin outlines new EU security plans; more speculation over Georgia in light of renewed EU-Russia relations; G20, Cuba, WW1. As expected, and as outlined in his first state-of-the-nation address, Dmitry Medvedev has submitted legislation to the Duma to extend the presidential term from four years to six. It is expected to ‘sail through’ the Duma, possibly even being fast-tracked, and many anticipate that the measure will pave the way for the return of Vladimir Putin as president. Other measures proposed by Medvedev to perfect the political system are nothing more than ‘cosmetic veneer on a political corpse’, says the Moscow Times.
Russia’s NATO representative, Dmitry Rogozin, has put forward suggestions for a new European security concept, following this week’s General Assembly, that would ensure security interests both individually and collectively, and end tensions between Eastern and Western Europe. US hopes of getting Ukraine to join NATO risk souring relations with Russia even further. ‘The Georgian war had one good side-effect. It started a public debate over the wisdom of Nato’s expansion’. This article looks at the EU’s resuming of relations with Russia, while Mary Dejevsky at the Independent wonders why they were ever interrupted in the first place. Russia’s navy might be full of ‘aging rust-buckets’, but that’s no reason to underestimate it, says Reuters.This Saturday’s G20 in Washington? Don’t expect too much, warns the Moscow Times. The Cuban president is to visit Russia next year, signaling Russia’s desire to revive ‘Cold War-era alliances’. Read the abdication speech of Czar Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin’s decree on peace, both from 1917.PHOTO: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks during a meeting with the representatives of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Trade in the Kremlin in Moscow November 11, 2008. REUTERS/Natalia Kolesnikova/Pool (RUSSIA)