Medvedev and the Military: Reshuffling as a Preamble for Reform?

Report – external series

Baev, Pavel K. (2008) Medvedev and the Military: Reshuffling as a Preamble for Reform?. PONARS Eurasia Policy Memos: 22. Washington, DC.

PONARS Eurasia Memo archive

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev insists that the somewhat softer style of his foreign and security policy makes no difference in their substance. Key policy guidelines continue to support the goals previously set by Vladimir Putin, who has kept a demonstratively low profile in these matters in his current position as prime minister. Explaining this steadfastness, Medvedev emphasizes his adherence to “national interests stripped bare of any distorting ideological motivations.” As far as the pivotal role of energy interests and the centrality of Gazprom in Russia’s foreign policy are concerned, the continuity from the Putin era to the current period of “tandemocracy” is indeed seamless. In “hard security” matters, however, small stylistic changes have already added up to a visible deviation that may or may not signify a change of course.

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