What next for Russia?

Former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin claim victory following Sunday, March 4, 2012 Russia’s presidential election. Reports indicate that he received over 63% of votes. The outcome was widely expected. The former KGB operative held the office of President for eight years previously. Current President Dmitry Medvedev will become the new Prime Minister.

The opposition immediately claimed broad election fraud and demonstrations erupted in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia. Similar to parliamentary elections in last December, once again the controversy over presidential election diminished the credibility of President Elect Mr. Putin. Russian army was quick to control demonstrators. However, the momentum created against perceived election fraud will occupy the new administration domestically.

Mr. Putin will take the helm at a time when the Middle East, Iran and Syria, are embroiled in internal as well as external controversies. Russia’s position on Syria is very clear and Mr. Putin is expected to continue its stand. However, soon Mr. Putin will have to make some decisions on Iran nuclear stand.

Newly elected president invited all opposition candidates for talks. Soon to be Prime Minister is reviewing detentions of wealthy opposition leaders. These steps indicate that the new administration is concerned over recent gains made by the opposition.