A very interesting article from the St. Petersburg Times, SPb’s twice-weekly English-language newspaper. Some excerpts:

You don’t often see Russia’s political leaders endorse American presidents, certainly not conservative Republicans. But Vladimir Putin’s recent comments at a news conference in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, amount to a ringing endorsement of U.S. President George W. Bush.

An apparent endorsement by Putin puts Bush into a rogue gallery of foreign political leaders whom Russia supports, including Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko and convicted felon and Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Russia should thank its lucky stars for Bush’s first term. In fact, Bush should be placed high on the list of crazy favors Providence seems to have showered Russia with in the course of its history.

Bush’s foreign policy blunders have been tailor-made to help Russia resolve its numerous problems. First and foremost, Bush’s misguided invasion of Iraq stirred trouble in a volatile, unstable region, driving oil prices to record levels and heightening Russia’s strategic position as a relatively predictable supplier of energy. In addition, Washington’s single-minded concentration on the war on terror in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, provided a unique opportunity for Moscow to find a multilateral solution to its festering separatist war in Chechnya.

Finally, by straining the United States’ relations with its allies in Western Europe, Bush’s White House raised fears in Paris and Berlin that America could turn into a rogue nation, driving them closer to Moscow.

Read it!