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Vladimir Putin has done it again; Putin received over 63% of the votes for presidency in Russia this past Sunday leaving several mad, dazed and confused. While it seemed certain that Putin was going to win, many are questioning his future plans for Russia, and his relationships with the rest of the world.
After tens of thousands of Russians rioted against Putin in Moscow on Monday evening, many are questioning if his re-election into office was “rigged.” Opposition activist Garry Kasprov believes that there was “massive fraud” surrounding the election by claiming the polls had been packed with additional voters.
And Putin is even admitting that their might have been some sort of violation of the electoral law. On Wednesday, Putin spoke out about any potential violations by stating that, “it’s possible there were some irregularities; there probably were some.” Putin believes that these irregularities could have only influenced up to 1% of the total vote while opposition supporters believe that his victory was inflated by over 10% of votes.
Considering all of the allegations of electoral fraud, the U.S. State Department decided to ask for a “credible” investigation of the election. Additionally, the department chose not to congratulate Putin as cause for concern of Putin’s motives rises. The United States and Europe have concerns that Putin will try to intervene with their policies regarding threats of Israel’s military strike against Iran and the bloodshed from the uprising going on in Syria.
While Putin claims that he won’t dabble in any international interference with what’s going on in Syria, he claims that the U.S. would rather be “vassals” than allies. Putin is already criticizing the United States and Europe for their plans to place missile defense elements in Eastern Europe but claims that he is fully against any military strikes against Iran.
Former Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev sought to improve Russia’s relationship with the U.S. during his time as President from 2008 to 2012 and even signed an agreement with the United States regarding a nuclear arms reduction pact as well as working toward making Russia one of the countries part of the World Trade Organization, a goal the country had been working on for nearly two decades.
It seems that Putin has little intentions of further improving ties with the U.S. as he is already opposing a new United Nations resolution with Syria. Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov claims the reason for the opposition is because the resolution is a “slightly modified version” of what Russia was wanting.
Putin plans on spending over $700 billion dollars in the next decade in order to create a stronger military and upgrade the country’s weaponry. Considering that a single presidential term in Russia is only six years, it looks as though Putin is already looking toward re-election in 2018. The European Union relies on Russia for approximately one quarter of it’s natural gas, as Russia relies on the Western hemisphere for technological purposes to modernize Russia’s economy.
Tony Brenton, a former U.K. ambassador to Russia, put it bluntly as he stated, “like it or not, we have to do business with the Russian government, whoever is in power and however they got there.” Despite all the allegations of electoral fraud regarding Putin, that’s just what the U.S. might have to do.