The President of the European Commission is off to meet Vladimir Putin at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum—a sign of how tepid Europe’s support for extending sanctions against really is.
The new head of Russia’s Central Election Commission announced the formation of a task force comprising several branches of the security services to prevent election rigging. Just whom they will actually be fighting remains an open question.
Another week, another reshuffling of the deck: Having already coopted his sources of financial support, Vladimir Putin starts to cull Medvedev’s siloviki support network, just to make sure his likely successor is as weak as possible.
Putin defended his import ban on European foods as necessary for “protecting national interests”. Now, even as he struggles to loosen Western sanctions, he is introducing wider and wider loopholes in his retaliatory measure.
Vladimir Putin convened his Council of Economic Advisors for the first time in two years this week, with his former Finance Minister on board. But it was only for a “brainstorming session”, the Kremlin said, suggesting that serious reforms were not about to be unveiled.