Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Putin Looks To The Sky

Russia's President Putin has made yet another announcement aimed at riling the west. He says he wants Russia to once again become the world's leading producer of military aircraft, and also reckons it can become the third-largest producer of passenger jets.

The deteriorating relationship between Russia and just about everybody else in the world has been pretty well documented over the last couple of years. But the bolshy language is more regular now, and it's becoming more based on the military - witness the recent submarine jaunt to the Arctic and the plans to re-open an old Soviet base in Syria.

The reason the pace is quickening is all to do with Mr Putin himself, who must step down next year having served two terms. It seems he's accepted he can't get round the constitution and must hand over power. But regardless of how much influence he'll have once out of office, he's busy using his last months in the Kremlin to create a legacy that won't easily be unravelled. And it's a legacy full of Cold War-style confrontation.

No comments: