Asan Plenum

To answer the question of whether there will be continuity or change reform in the foreign and domestic policy of President-elect Vladimir Putin, it is necessary to take a look at the broader context: namely, how power transitioned from Putin to Medvedev. The main slogan of the 2008 Medvedev campaign was preservation of the Putin legacy. In two years, in 2010, Medvedev attempted a qualitative departure from both the foreign and domestic policies of his predecessor. (Exactly on what issues and how Medvedev attempted to depart will be explained in depth during my talk; for now, we are just trying to explain the developmental logic of the political process first from Putin to Medvedev, and then from Medvedev to Putin.)
Medvedev failed to bring to a logical conclusion his political course in either the domestic or the foreign policy sphere, which is the reason why it is practically impossible to pinpoint any qualitative departure of his policy from that of Putin’s, aside from maybe the attempt to make a rhetorical break with Putin. It is for this reason that the Putin return would signal continuity internally and internationally, but it would be a continuity not of the Medvedev course; rather, it would be a continuity of Putin’s own political course from his time as President from 2000 to 2008.(What this means, I will discuss in my talk).