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Nicolai N, Petro

Nicolai N Petro is author of The Rebirth of Russian Democracy: An Interpretation of Political Culture (Harvard University Press, 1998) and Crafting Democracy: How Novgorod Has Coped with Rapid Social Change (Cornell University Press, 2004) . He has served as civic-affairs advisor to the mayor of the Russian city of Veliky Novgorod, and as policy advisor in the United States state department.

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openDemocracy - United Kingdom | 28/02/2008

Medvedev wins Russia's presidential election

Nicolai N. Petro teaches international politics at the University of Rhode Island. He writes that Putin's politics in the 1990s involved "re-establishing central authority, forging a 'unified legal space,' shoring up the domestic economy, ... laying the foundations for an independent foreign policy. In all these areas, Medvedev not only agreed with Putin's policies - he played a key role in formulating them. Now that the situation in the country has stabilised, however, he feels that it is time to shift the focus from consolidation to liberalisation. ... The watchwords of Medvedev's approach to politics, both then and now, are 'flexibility' and 'pragmatism.' This perspective casts severe doubt on the conventional view of Medvedev as a lackey blindly carrying out Putin's bidding - but also on the notion that he will develop policies at odds with those that he has been carrying out over the past seven years."

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