Putin decides to retake presidency

The Australian reports: “Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has decided to run for the presidency next year, raising the possibility of a power struggle with his protégé Dmitry Medvedev, the incumbent Kremlin leader, say highly placed sources.

The once-close relationship between Mr. Putin, the tough-talking former KGB officer who has inspired a personality cult, and Mr. Medvedev, a softly spoken Twitter enthusiast, has become increasingly fractious amid speculation in Moscow that the younger man wishes to stand again.

Insiders familiar with both leaders said Mr. Putin, who served eight years as president before becoming Prime Minister three years ago, had begun to lose confidence in Mr. Medvedev’s loyalty.

Under the constitution, Mr. Putin’s move to reclaim the presidency could see him rule for two consecutive six-year terms until 2024, when he will be 72. If so, he would have served as prime minister or president for 24 years in all.

The sources said recent criticism by Mr. Medvedev had made Mr. Putin suspicious. ‘Putin will run for president. He’s made up his mind for good. Rumours that he’s still weighing his options are false,’ said one source.

‘There’s mounting tension between Medvedev and Putin. The view in Putin’s camp is that Medvedev has started behaving with too much arrogance and wants to challenge him. Putin is starting to doubt his loyalty.’

The Russian constitution allows the president to serve no more than two consecutive terms. Mr. Putin stepped down in 2008 and handed the reins to Medvedev on the tacit understanding that he could come back next year if he wished.

At first Mr. Medvedev was regarded as a puppet. He even took to imitating Mr. Putin’s distinctive macho stride and speaking style. But three years later, Mr. Medvedev, who at 45 is still Russia’s youngest leader in more than seven decades, is understood to be reluctant to step aside for Mr. Putin…” (Putin may become the Gog [leader] of the greatest war in history described in Ezekiel 38:1, 2, 8, 16 – all cities in Russia today.)

Medvedev warns of Cold War over missile defence

SpaceDaily.com reports: “President Dmitry Medvedev warned the West it would face a new Cold War if it failed to address Russia’s concerns over a proposed missile defence shield for Europe.

Medvedev told reporters that the US decision to push ahead with construction of the missile defence system despite Russia’s objections will force Moscow ‘to take retaliatory measures — something that we would very much rather not do.’

‘We would then be talking about developing the offensive potential of our nuclear capabilities. This would be a very bad scenario.’

The Russian leader also reaffirmed any earlier threat to pull out of the new START disarmament agreement that entered into force this year if the missile shield is deployed and operated without the Kremlin’s input.

‘This would be a very bad scenario. It would be a scenario that throws us back into the Cold War era.’

Moscow has been fighting NATO plans to deploy a system the West sees as a means of protection from nations such as Iran but Russia believes could potentially be deployed against its own defences.

The Kremlin’s biggest fear is that the shield could one day be turned around and instead of shooting down incoming missiles be used to attack Russian soil…” (The START treaty describing the non-proliferation agreement will fail as Russia moves against Israel in the future – Joel 3:2, 20, 30; and Ezekiel 39:6.)