President Vladimir Putin won reelection in Russia with 73 percent of the votes. He will be leading the country for another six years, until 2024.

During his new presidential period, Vladimir Putin has promised to improve Russia’s defenses against the western world, and to raise the living standards of the population.

Russia’s recent-elected President is 65 years old. So, by the time he finishes this new period, he will be 71. His time as the head of Russia has only been surpassed by Josef Stalin’s regime.

“Our elections have proved once again … that it’s not possible to manipulate our people,” said Valentina Matviyenko who is one of Putin’s closest allies and the speaker of the upper house of parliament.  “People came together. No other country in the world has such open and transparent elections”, she added welcoming this reelection as a moral victory over the west.

Putin is about to start his fourth 6-year period, which means he would be ruling Russia for almost a quarter of a century on a row as prime minister or president.

Putin’s victory was never put into doubt

The results were no shocking at all. Seven candidates were running against him, but none of them were really a threat. The sole opposition leader who could have put the outcomes into doubt, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running in the presidential elections.

Russia, Vladimir Putin, Russian presidential elections 2018
Putin after he voted. Image credits: NY Daily News.

The nearest an opponent got was 11 percent of the votes in favor of Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin. Nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky got about 6 percent.

Some allege that the government has compelled people to go vote, so there wasn’t a low turnout.  Russia’s Central Election Commission recognized there were irregularities in the elections, but it declared that after almost a third of the votes were counted, Putin was the winner with more than 73 percent of those votes.

Putin and his anti-western rhetoric

Putin has had an anti-western rhetoric during all these late years. In fact, the outcomes of the elections were seen as a reaffirmation of a moral victory against the West, even when at the beginning of Trump’s period he was willing to improve relations with Russia.

However, there are some negative effects of this rhetoric. Some say Putin is not going to soften his anti-western speech.

Russia, Vladimir Putin, Russian presidential elections 2018
Candidates in Russia’s elections. image credits: NY Daily News

“I think that in the United States and Britain they’ve understood they cannot influence our elections,” said Senator Igor Morozov on state television.

It is important to mention that Russia’s relations with the western world have been low over events such as the Syrian war, espionage, the problems with Ukraine over the sovereignty of Crimea and the allegations of Russia meddling in the U.S Presidential elections.

The western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia over for annexing Crimea. These sanctions have affected Russia’s economy. Clearly, economics is a fundamental part of the stability of a country. However, analysts say that Putin has some problems with his top policymakers on the economic strategy for the new term.

Source: Reuters