[Presenter S. Buntman] We have in the studio Stanislav Belkovsky -
political expert, president of the National Strategy Institute. Good
[Belkovsky] Good afternoon.
[Belkovsky] This regime is pushing us closer to a collapse of the state. So, the sooner it quits and hands power in to a new generation of politicians caring about creation of a new wealth rather than about legalization of their capitals in the West, the less likely is the country to collapse upon our heads.
[Belkovsky] Instability is inevitable, just because processes are going on in the country which Putin can neither control nor prevent. For instance, the Kremlin cannot control the North Caucasus today de-facto. And Putin knows it. And for him it is crucial to leave office before this fact is obvious to the country and the rest of the world. The national infrastructure, which has not been renovated since
the Brezhnev era, is in a deepest crisis. And the blackout in May [in Moscow] is just the first sign [of deterioration].
Putin understands it. And as he is not a Stalin but just an average European who dreams of being a rich rentier with an income of several hundred millions of dollars a year, of being an Abramovich.
[He wants] to head some international structure and so on. He doesn't want to resign amid tragedy and catastrophe. That is why I am sincerely sure that Putin himself doesn't want any third term - not because he is a democrat or a liberal - but because he is very afraid of responsibility. We saw it during the Kursk submarine disaster, during the Beslan crisis, during the Nord-Ost siege, during all other crises that occurred in the country. We saw anyone but him at the footlights. He crawled out only after the crisis had been resolved, and often in spite of his own actions. That is why I think he doesn't want to stay in power after 2008 and wants to resign before his term ends. And he understands that destabilisation may come due to objective reasons, not because of somebody's evil will, long before [his term expires]. That is why he and his objective allies - Abramovichs, Fridmans and so on - do anything to make this happy period of illusory stability last longer.