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13 Apr, 2009 09:28

ROAR: Russian Opinion and Analytics Review, Apr.13

ROAR: Russian Opinion and Analytics Review, Apr.13

This Monday, ROAR presents an article on the future of Moldova, a series of opinions on the G20 anti-crisis policies, and a sketch on an unexpected global threat to democracy.

KOMMERSANT publishes an article by Andrey Fedorov, the former Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, now Director of political programs with the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, who sums up the recent events in Moldova, and gives a forecast for the future of the republic.

The former diplomat writes that the ‘revolution’ in Moldova turned out to be just a short-term political action of the opposition, aimed at testing the limits of the government’s and the president’s patience; their goal was never an actual attempt to seize power, but to discredit the government, to make it overreact, and use lethal force against the youth and children sent forth to throw stones and burn buildings.

But, says Fedorov, rather unexpectedly for the opposition, the government of Moldova has shown enough wisdom to stay within the limits of law; president Voronin even agreed to re-count the votes. He did it because he was sure that the victory of his party at the election had clearly been legitimate.

However, says Fedorov, from now on, the question of a merger with Romania raised by the opposition last week will become a permanent fixture in the Moldovan political arena. There will definitely be more street actions in the future, and there will be a lot of clandestine action as well, he says.

The former diplomat concludes that stability in Moldova is now a thing of the past. He writes that it doesn't matter whether Romanian intelligence was behind the events, or whether it was the Moldovan opposition. What matters is the fact that now Russia and the West share another major headache in Europe. What happened in Moldova, writes Fedorov, was no ordinary local event. It was one of the last elements in the global political game in which, willingly or unwillingly, we have all have been involved after the disintegretion of the Soviet Union.

IZVESTIA publishes a round table discussion of the G20 summit and its decisions. Russian academics and practitioners of international relations and economics speak their minds about the summit:

Iosif Diskin from the Council for National Strategy says that the main result of the G20 summit is the institutionalization of the regulatory mechanisms of the global economy. The G20 achieved the maximum possible of what it was supposed to do: it managed to expose all offshore havens, and the Americans let go of the IMF they used to control totally before.

And President Medvedev has achieved the maximum of what he could have expected: he bargained high, suggesting to set up a separate global currency, and as a result, the idea was entered as a matter for further discussion. Meanwhile, Medvedev’s other offer regarding hedge funds went into the final document verbatim.

Dmitry Orlov from the Agency of Political and Economic Communications says that the main difference between the Washington and London summits of the G20 is the fact that the latter made some decisions, while the former produced none. He says the derivative bubble supported the well-being of the poorer strata of society and the middle class; after it exploded, the well-being of these classes was, and still is, in danger, and that is the main reason for the reform of the global financial system.

Vladimir Zhirikhin of the Institute of the CIS Nations says that there’s no sense in claiming that the twenty leaders gathered in London changed the world. That didn’t happen. What happened, and what is much more interesting, is the conspiracy around the offshore havens masterfully conducted and completed by France and Germany. In other words, German and French anti-Globalism has nearly triumphed on the global scale. Offshore capital often works against national interests of the nations from which it is deposited, and so France and Germany decided to get rid of it.

Maxim Dianov of the Institute of Regional Problems says that the G20 summit failed to answer the two main questions: who is to blame and what is to be done? We are still in the dark about the origins of the crisis. There are many ideas about it, but no firm and well-founded opinions – which means that there cannot be any prescription for curing it: how can we cure an illness of which we do not know the nature?

Valery Khomiakov, the co-chairman for the Council for National Strategy says the expectations for the G20 were high – everyone hoped for some decision that could change things quickly. Those expectations partially failed to materialize, but there still is a significant result: if not the burial, at least the last rites for the Anglo-Saxon model of globalization.

In NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA, well-known political scientist and Head of the Effective Policies Fund Gleb Pavlovskiy writes that modern democracy is in crisis worldwide. He writes that nearly all the forms of modern democracy, of which there are many, have a common flaw: they are so over-organized, based on the ‘agreement’ between the local elites with the local powers-that-be that not much space is left for the real expression of will by the people. Globalization has made the problem worse, says Pavlovskiy, largely nullifying the role individual citizens or groups of citizens can play in politics.

This new undemocratic trend inside democracy deprives the masses of citizens of their basic right to affect the workings of a democratic state, and that often leads them to street protests, along with various degrees of violence, says Pavlovskiy, such as has already happened in countries as diverse as Latvia, Greece, and Thailand.