Balanced Accounting: Putin Calls US a Parasite on the Global Economy; Russian Mafia is A Parasite on the US Economy

Posted on August 2, 2011

Former KGB officer still looking to be validated as a global leader and all round sportsman, Vladimir Putin is once again speaking out against the US.  He has barked that the US is a Parasite on the Global Economy.  Ah, but the Russian Mafia is a blight on the US economy and Wikileaks has produced cables and other correspondence to link Putin with the mob.

They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy,” Putin told the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi while touring its lakeside summer camp some five hours drive north of Moscow.

“They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar,” Putin said at the open-air meeting with admiring young Russians in what looked like early campaigning before parliamentary and presidential polls. [forbes]

But Russia under Putin has been a virtual criminal state:

Russia is a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centred on the leadership of Vladimir Putin, in which officials, oligarchs and organised crime are bound together to create a “virtual mafia state”, according to leaked secret diplomatic cables that provide a damning American assessment of its erstwhile rival superpower.  [Guardian]

The legacy of Vladimir Putin is in jeopardy because of the degree of criminal activity during his tenure and his participation in it.

Putin is accused of amassing “illicit proceeds”from his time in office, which various sources allege are hidden overseas.The allegations come hours before Putin was due to address Fifa’s executive committee in Zurich in support of Russia’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Putin last night abruptly cancelled his trip, complaining of a smear campaign to “discredit” Fifa members. In an angry interview with CNN’s Larry King Live, recorded before the latest disclosures, Putin also denounced the cables and warned the US not to stick its nose in Russia’s affairs.

He made clear he was not amused by a US diplomat’s description of him as “Batman” and President Dmitry Medvedev as “Robin”. “To be honest with you, we did not suspect that this [criticism] could be made with such arrogance, with such rudeness, and you know, so unethically,” Putin remarked.

The principal allegations stem from a Spanish prosecutor, José Grinda González, who has spent more than a decade trying to unravel the activities of Russian organised crime in Spain. Spanish authorities have arrested more than 60 suspects, including the top four mafia bosses outside Russia.

In a startling briefing for US officials in January, Grinda said Russia was a “virtual mafia state” in which “one cannot differentiate between the activities of the government and OC [organised crime] groups”.  [Guardian]

Not surprisingly, Putin has said he may take back the Presidency in a run for the office in 2012.  But would it matter?

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But does it matter whether President Medvedev continues, Mr Putin returns or someone else takes over? The short answer is no. Mr Medvedev seems to have a little influence on aspects of economic and foreign policy, but everyone knows who is in charge. Whatever post Mr Putin holds after the election, he will remain the dominant figure. [FT] 

Russia is as corrupt as ever and Putin is at the center of it all.

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