Vladimir Putin: As for some ultra conservatives coming to power and tightening the screws – let them screw away. They can screw and screw until they screw up. They are pursuing a policy that is costly and ineffective. Okay, they have changed regimes in North Africa, but what will they do there now? Ultimately Israel will find itself caught between two fires… It is hard to say what kind of regime Egypt will end up with, and it’s hard to say what sort of a mess they’ll make in Syria. No one can predict what will happen in the Maghreb countries either. Are you sure they are in control of the situation there? Apparently, they are trying to control it, but nobody, including them, knows what will come of it. That’s why whatever is being done… There is pressure for change, but it’s very costly with little efficiency so far.
Leonid Ivashov: Mr Rogov spoke about negotiations with the United States and whether Obama’s presidency is good or bad for Russia. We can see even during the recent decades that America has a clear-cut geopolitical agenda, a political strategy and specific programmes no matter who sits in the White House. Take, for instance, the air defence programme. It was initiated under Bill Clinton and then taken up by George Bush and now Obama. Same goes for Yugoslavia: its destruction was spearheaded by a Democrat, and then G.W. Bush continued with Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, we have seen how a Nobel Prize winner destroyed Libya. So, we shouldn’t have any illusions about this. Of course, we need to pursue talks, at least to keep our Foreign Ministry busy.