Putin struggles to find words after journalist suggests there will be political unrest in Kyrgyzstan
Stability. If you were compelled to describe Russia's regional and global foreign policy objectives using only one word, it would have to be "stability."
Moscow is not interested in projecting its power around the world. Instead it seeks regional stability and consensus-based international relations.
So try to imagine Putin's reaction when an opposition journalist asked him if Russia would respect a "transition of power" in Kyrgyzstan, while the president of Kyrgyzstan was sitting right next to him:
After a long pause — and a rebuke from Kyrgyzstan's president Almazbek Atambayev — Putin reminded the journo: "In the former Soviet Union, we have to appreciate stability":
[Russia's] actions are based on the fact that any change of power should take place within the framework of the constitution and the current law.
Just to put this in some perspective: Kyrgyzstan is still recovering from two recent revolutions — the last one taking place in 2010 — which internally displaced some 400,000 people.
Kyrgyzstan's current president, Atambayev, has been in office since 2011. So not exactly dictator-for-life.
Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union and in 2014 it expelled an American military base from its territory.
So this opposition journalist is basically saying, right to Putin's face: "What will you do if we vote 'your' guy out of office?" (Or: color revolution.)
And Putin has no words.
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