Monday, June 10, 2013

"Putin's foreign policy is still the most popular factor in his overall rating"

"...But the calculations of Putin’s image-makers are no less important in shaping his Syria policy. “It makes him look strong, cool, tough and unyielding,” says Sergei Markov, a long-time Kremlin spinmeister who heads the political science department at Moscow’s Plekhanov University. “It shows that Putin doesn’t haggle when it comes to Russian interests. He does not yield to western pressure.”
So there is no reason to expect him to yield, especially when his popularity at home is stagnating. For most of this year Putin’s approval ratings have been stuck at the same levels as Dec. 2011, when massive street protests erupted against him for the first time in his career. Although his ratings remain comfortably above 50% in all the major polls, the Kremlin has not found a cure for the political tedium the nation feels after almost 13 years under the same man’s rule. “His policies on homeland security, corruption, the economy and so on, they have all been steadily losing support,” says Masha Lipman, a political analyst at the Carnegie Center in Moscow. “But not his foreign policy. That is still the most popular factor in his overall rating.” ..."

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