Long wait rattles nerves in Moscow

By Benjamin Bidder

President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are confusing friends and foes alike with their determined silence on which of them intends to stand as presidential candidate in the 2012 Russian election. Lawmakers, civil servants and business leaders are tearing their hair out over the political limbo.

Bureaucrats and political functionaries are confused about whom they should be loyal to: the president, who has been trying to establish a distinctive profile by emphasizing differences with Putin? Or the prime minister, who appeared to be attacking Medvedev when he warned in parliament against “indiscriminate experiments based on an unjustified liberalism.”

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