The visit of US Vice-President, Joseph Biden, to Moscow last week created a resonance quite out of proportion to its agenda.
Biden sought to keep the “reset” on track but the rumor that stirred up Moscow’s chattering political classes was that his real aim was to render support to Medvedev’s bid for the presidency and to discourage Putin from going for a third term. As for Biden’s non-existent “hidden” agenda, the readiness of Moscow’s “informed” political circles to believe in his vetting of Medvedev’s flaccid presidential bid testifies to the deep disillusionment among the over-achievers of the 2000’s in Putin’s leadership. They have a lot to lose from political turmoil leading to a redistribution of property and are collectively arriving at the understanding that his return to supreme power might reduce the immediate risk of such turmoil but greatly increase its probability and scale in the mid-term. Biden has in fact asked them without asking: is that really your best bet?