Putin and Medvedev: The End of a Beautiful Friendship?

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BY EMOKE BEBIAK ANCHOR JENNY MECKLES You're watching multisource world video news analysis from Newsy. ...
BY EMOKE BEBIAK ANCHOR JENNY MECKLES You're watching multisource world video news analysis from Newsy. A public split between a duo the Russians have dubbed “the tandem.” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his predecessor Vladimir Putin put out seemingly conflicting statements on the allied military intervention in Libya. Putin harshly criticized the UN’s invasion of Libya on Monday saying, “it resembles a medieval crusade.” Compare that to President Medvedev’s statement later: “In no way is it acceptable to use expressions that in essence led to a clash of civilizations such as crusades and so forth. This is unacceptable.” (euronews) International analysts say the statements illuminate the split between Medvedev and Putin on foreign policy. An expert explains to Christian Science Monitor... "Putin, given his past [KGB] experience, is inclined to a conspiratorial view... Medvedev, on the other hand, does not think in cold war terms.” But in the same article the director of an independent Moscow think tank says there’s no real conflict between the leaders. “It's like Medvedev is Putin's lawyer, he follows him around and cleans up his speech.... Basically, it just means the tandem is working as it was designed. The West sees the good Medvedev trying his best, while other constituencies are reassured by Putin.” A columnist for Russian news agency Ria Novosti says Russia was one of five countries that didn’t vote on the UN resolution to authorize attacks in Libya. He says it’s another sign of Russia’s lack of unified stance on foreign policy. “Sitting on the fence only puts the country in a strange position, showing that its authorities cannot agree when confronted with serious problems and lack a coordinated policy. This is particularly damaging in view of the growing chaos across the world.” But CNN says this split can be a precursor to next year’s presidential elections, even though both politicians have said they would not stand in each other’s way. “The public smackdown was political catnip in Moscow. The two men, whom Russians refer to as ‘the tandem,’ both could be candidates for president in 2012 but neither is announcing yet he will run. Speculation is rife over who might go first -- and when.” Russian newspaper Pravda also points out the lack of real conflict and claims the story was exaggerated by the media. “There is a certain media pool in Russia, which has been working for the break up of the tandem since 2008.” 'Like Newsy' on Facebook for video news updates in your feed. Transcript by Newsy