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26 Sep, 2011 13:44

Russia-US relations depend on Oval Office occupant

Gerhard Mangott, professor of Political Science at Innsbruck University, thinks that relations between Moscow and Washington largely depend on the results of the American presidential relations.

He believes that Vladimir Putin would not wish to return Russian-Western relations to their previously tense state.“When Putin left his presidency, the relations were very strained. He was quite aggressive externally. Putin would try to continue quite pragmatically the initiatives Medvedev started in his office,”he told RT. Professor Mangott did go on to strike a note of caution though:“However, there is a very big question mark of who is going to win the elections in the US next year. If it is the case that some part of the Republican Party takes the helm, then I do expect that relations will deteriorate.” Mangott also warned that the future president of Russia will have to tackle tough economic issues, with the country’s budget deficit about to rise despite oil and gas revenues. He stressed this would require a different economic and political course – and a young professional team.

Ricardo Young, political analyst for Voice of Russia radio station, believes that if Vladimir Putin wins the upcoming presidential election, he is unlikely to change his style as leader of Russia.“I do not think he needs to change his style at this point,” he said. “He has been very consistent in showing himself as a very strong, decisive leader and he certainly has done the same with his protégée, President Medvedev, and this is the kind of political intelligence, this is the kind of smarts that I think people respect whether in Russia or the US.”