President Dmitry Medvedev started his final round of top level meetings with the trip to Cannes where the leaders of the twenty largest world economic powers gathered to discuss measures to rescue the global financial system from the Greek crisis.
A major development that could have illuminated Russia’s seat at the G20 table is the final resolution of the perennial problem of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), but Medvedev was rather circumspect on this issue.
The sharp escalation of the European crisis on the eve of the G20 summit has brought into focus one basic but normally hidden condition for its management: the smart political maneuvering and wise expert opinions could only work if a solid majority says “Yes.” The Greek referendum, whatever its fate, has forcefully re-established the simple fact that the decision on the future of every country belongs to its people. Putin has many instruments at his disposal to negate this fact, but the majority of Russians want to have a real choice in the presidential elections; they are also turning resolutely against the shameless corruption, which is a defining feature of Putinism. He might come to regret that this “No” vote cannot be expressed at the ballot box.