The results of the March 2012 presidential election in Russia were no surprise for Central European observers. Vladimir Putin, the new-old President, has returned to power and the political, social and economic atmosphere has again become tense and unpredictable. Yet the change might not be as radical as many fear. In the last few years shifts in Russian foreign policy have not been strategic, but merely tactical. During Dmitry Medvedev’s Presidency, Moscow attempted to create an atmosphere conducive to cooperation with Europe and was eager to pursue broader modernization. However, the ongoing economic crisis has revealed that Russia lacks the potential to implement any ambitious programs on the international stage. And now, Vladimir Putin will have to decide how to forge policy statements from his election campaign into real and concrete political actions. From a Central European perspective, three crucial questions have emerged following the election. First, how will Putin’s return influence Russia’s relationship with the EU? Second, what impact will that have on the potential future political and security scenarios in Europe’s Eastern neighborhood? And finally, what would a more assertive Russia mean both for the broader Central European security landscape at a time of relative U.S. retrenchment from the region, and for the prospects for sustainability and longevity of the rapprochement efforts between Moscow and several regional capitals, notably Warsaw?