The re-nomination (albeit somewhat reshuffled) of the “economic block” of the Medvedev government has elicited many explanations, some better than others. Today I want to look at one specific hypothesis which can be summed up like this: Putin decided against purging the (unpopular) “economic block” from the Russian government because he wanted to present the EU with “known faces” and partners EU politicians would trust. Right now, with Trump’s insane behavior openly alienating most European leaders, this is the perfect time to add a Russian “pull” to the US “push” and help bring the EU closer to Russia. By re-appointing Russian “liberals” (that is a euphemism for WTO/WB/IMF/etc types) Putin made Russia look as attractive to the EU as possible. In fact, the huge success of the Saint Petersburg summit and the Parliamentary Forum is proof that this strategy is working.
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