This morning, the WashPost reported that, "President Vladimir has signed a decree appointing a nationalist politician, Dmitry Rogozin, as Russia's permanent representative to NATO, a source close to the situation said. Rogozin is the flamboyant former head of Russia's Motherland party."
Setting a beast like Rogozin loose in Brussles is Putin's idea of payback. But this isn't the first time Rogozin has played his part.
IHT August 2007: "In large part, the Russian government's reluctance to make combating racism and racial violence a serious priority is due to the cynical way in which the country's leadership has used nationalism as a political weapon. The Russian government has long patronized extremist political parties, including Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democrats and more recently the Rodina (Motherland) party formed before the 2003 parliamentary elections by Dmitry Rogozin, which many observers suspect was created and financed by the Kremlin itself as a way of drawing off votes from the Communists."