Global Politics

Thank you, President Putin!

(Can you explain to us how hard it's been for you over the years?) It was very hard, in the early 1980s my professor told me I was on the ground floor of a growing study. Then Gorbachev came along and destroyed everything and he ruined my career and for several years in the 1990s there wasn't much interest. Then Putin came into power at the very end of 1999 and became increasingly assertive and then I got phone calls for consulting. And as Russian-American relations deteriorated, the more demand there was for my work. (So does this mean we're back to Soviet-ology?) It's not as bad as that because we do have more access to Russia now than we did under the Soviet Union. With Putin and the decision making we're not quite sure what the process is. And now Medvedev is getting that treatment as well. (Have you been asked a lot how his name is pronounced?) Yes, although my Russian isn't great. (For you, you were understandably worried that Putin would not run for President. But you're happy anyway?) If there had been free elections and a liberal president in Russia then things would go back to the way they were which was difficult for me. There are several other governments who do the same thing, that to get the US's attention they have to be a bit threatening.