July 17, 2018

Analytical bulletin #9 (10) 2018

Dear Readers,

We would like to present to you the next issue of the Bulletin #9(10)2018 «RUSSIAN POLITICS».

Table of contents and short summary

EVENTS

Meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Helsinki

From the Kremlin’s vantage point, the meeting was more than successful. Russian authorities are feeling a kind of euphoria creating the impression that Russia is hoping to reverse the trend in the Russian-American relations. The prevailing opinion holds that the worst is over and that now both countries have a chance to slowly being to rebuild a dialogue on key issues. Yet, two unexpected problems have arisen: first, the indictment in the US of 12 officers of the Main Directorate of the General Staff on charges of hacking into the Democratic Party’s servers in 2016 that was extremely painful for Putin’s entourage; secondly, the highly epidermal reaction of the American establishment to the outcome of the summit. The Kremlin underestimated the prospects of such a reaction.

MAIN ACTORS

Sergei Kirienko – Hero of Russia

Following the Presidential elections, Sergei Kirienko was awarded the title of Hero of Russia by secret decree. Thus Vladimir Putin assessed Kirienko’s contribution to strengthening the “strategic security” of the State, including Rosatom’s role in modernizing nuclear armaments, as well as the exemplary way, in which the Presidential campaign was conducted (key for Putin was not the electoral result, but rather a minimization of Western influence).

Yet, the fact that he was awarded the title of Hero of Russia has led his opponents to intensify their game against him.

New Special Presidential Representative for Development of the Digital Economy

The new Special Presidential Representative for Development of the Digital Economy is Dmitry Peskov, director of the section Young Professionals at the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI). So, a complex infrastructure for the management of the project to digitize the economy where the principal centers of influence is taking shape at the level of the Presidential administration and the government. However, as the infrastructure grows, it could give rise to conflicts and future reshuffling.

PROCESSES

Escalation of tension surrounding Vyacheslav Volodin in the context of the pension reform

The question of raising the retirement age has exacerbated tensions in the pentagonal structure of relations among State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, the government, Sergei Kirienko, the party United Russia in the person of its General Council secretary Andrey Turchak and regional powers. The fact that Vladimir Putin never made a much-anticipated statement on the pension reform has exacerbated the situation, and the President himself disappeared for a few days, giving rise to most negative suppositions regarding his health.

 

Esteemed readers, R.Politik will be taking its annual vacation in August. As of September, the analytical bulletin will be published every second and fourth Tuesday (instead of every first and third Tuesday). The next issue is scheduled for 11 September.

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