U.S. Sees Putin Back in 2012


Just because Russian President Vladimir Putin is barred, like U.S. presidents, from running for a third consecutive term doesn't mean he's done with the Kremlin. Administration and business leaders with ties to Russia see him running again in 2012 after one term of his handpicked successor ends. Andrew Somers, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, agrees with the scenario and adds that it's a good one for the hundreds of U.S. companies flocking there. He says Putin doesn't interfere with U.S. business interests, and that's made the country the "engine of growth for American companies." And in return, he's got proof that American business ethics are helping to reverse years of corruption there. Somers tells us he commissioned a poll that finds that locals working at firms like Ford or GM disdain typical Russian bribery and corruption. And now Russian firms are trying to lure away those employed at the American plants. But, Somers says, "they don't want to work anyplace else."