- * The "Financial Times" website's "beyondbrics" blog goes to pains to point out possible benefits for Russia. In the short term, Stefan Wagstyl says "the news should be good for Russia's financial markets, not least in perhaps slowing the capital flight that's plagued the country at times of political instability during the last two decades." (This is at odds with the prediction of longtime Kremlin critic and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov, who told RFE/RL's Russian Service that the news was a "worst-case" scenario that would hasten capital flight.)But in the long term, Wagstyl says, "much will depend on whether the new Putin presidency will stick to the existing resources-based economic strategy or, finally, take the more difficult path of economic diversification."Sounds a lot like proposing to an ex-girlfriend in hopes that she's turned over a new leaf.Here's the "FT" piece:
- * BBC's Steve Rosenberg from Moscow:
"There were rumours that Mr Medvedev was a die-hard liberal and building a rival power base, and that he was determined to remain in the Kremlin."There was no sign of the rebel today at the United Russia congress -- the party conference of the party of power."
- State-run broadcaster's TV anchorman is breathless at the Putin news:"I understand the conference just winding down; the enthusiasm, however, is just gearing up."
- "If and when he assumes the presidency after next year"s elections, Mr. Putin will face painful and unpopular decisions as oil production levels off. Mr. Putin"s United Russia party has been gradually losing popularity, dropping 9 points since January to its lowest point since Mr. Medvedev became president, according to the Public Opinion Foundation. And back-to-back elections in December or March, neither of which offers an alternative to the current government, will strain the state"s coffers and voters" patience."That's "The New York Times":