The Price of Progress

How much is a half-hearted political ‘endorsement’ worth?  If it’s a week after Russian Duma elections and you’re Vladimir Putin, the answer is … one nuclear submarine and a southbound Gazprom pipeline full of LNG:

  • Russia will significantly boost supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to India in 2016, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.   India’s gas consumption is projected to increase 70 percent by 2020.
  • Russia will lease its Nerpa nuclear submarine to India by the end of the year, the head of Russia’s federal agency in charge of military and technical cooperation, Mikhail Dmitriyev, said on Friday. … Friday’s announcement on the submarine lease came during a visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Russia.  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met with Singh earlier in the day.


  • Russia’s president will visit India in 2012, the two countries confirmed in their joint statement on further improvement of the Russia-India strategic partnership. Traditionally, leaders visit each other in one year’s time, thus a visit of Russia’s leader to New Delhi is due in 2012. It is also traditional that exchange visits happen in December.  Dmitry Medvedev will leave office in May of 2012, thus Russia’s new president [wonder who?] will go to India.



  • Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday wished his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin success in the March 4 presidential elections. “Let me congratulate the people of Russia on the successful State Duma elections and the victory of United Russia.”


credit: Alexei N.


Hmmmm.  Sounds to Lunghu as though the sales commission payments will be delivered in India, in person … next year.

But wait!  It gets better.

Foreign travel is always more enjoyable when accompanied by an old friend:

Alexei Kudrin, who was dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev as finance minister, will be offered a post in the new government, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
“Kudrin has never left my team. He is my long-standing comrade, a close friend,” Putin said during a televised Q&A session.  He praised Kudrin for his ability to “think globally, strategically” and for being “a visionary.”

Lunghu’s translation, courtesy of Comrade Bear himself:  “Tovarich Alexei, there is no such thing as a former Chekist.”

WHAT did he just say?!?

Kudrin showed himself to be as cagy as ever:

“I would leave this question open because I would like Putin to propose some new approaches,” he said.

Lunghu’s translation, American-style:  “What’s in it for me?

Sounds like the continuation of a beautiful friendship.



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