He does not look like a man who has been through hell. His color is good, his appearance youthful. With his thick hair in a buzz cut, his jeans, and his big walking shoes, he looks like a hiker just off the trail.
If America's goal is to force Putin to change his foreign policy, i.e. specially to direct Russian speaking Ukrainians to halt the violent actions they have taken; then West has to focus on what the benefit to Putin is if he does reverse his policy towards Ukraine.
The reemerging cold war between Washington and Moscow centers on the fundamental disagreements over Ukraine. But it would be a mistake to pin all the responsibility for the downturn in relations on the Euromaidan protests.
As Obama accomplished something quite real in the Asia-Pacific his administration and the European Union pursued something unreal, announcing new sanctions against individual Russians for their involvement in Russia's strategy to foment discord in Ukraine and keep that nation, which is only a few hundred miles from Moscow, out of NATO.
The U.S. should tone down the rhetoric and concentrate on the core issues for worldwide peace and accept the Crimean reality. The solution will evolve slowly, if we let it.
Global demands and realities weaken the ineffective U.S. sanctions against Russia while Washington needs Moscow's cooperation on Afghanistan.
Putin may think, like Shakespeare's Macbeth, that he is so far gone in imperial crimes that it would be as tiresome to go over as back. But in fact he has bet the farm on this adventure and given the West no choice but to insist that he take this risk.
Little or no real analysis went into the question of why, while at a conference on media in St. Petersburg, the president of Russia would say those things or what he hoped to achieve by saying them. So, why did he do it?
Do aliens exist? Of course they do! Does anyone out there really think that we are the only intelligent (questionable) life in the universe? Besides, how else could we explain Kim Kardashian and Gary Busey? Hello?
The Putin worldview carries with it the seeds of potential frictions with the West beyond the Crimea. It promises a hardnosed promotion of Russian national interest.
While the shouting but, notably, not shooting continues in the Ukraine crisis, and the Middle East peace process collapses, President Barack Obama is in the middle of his four-nation Asia-Pacific tour. How's it going, amidst very predictable distractions from Russia and Israel? Fair to middling.
This is a critical time for the the Asia-Pacific Pivot. Which is, of course, America's shift from its fateful post-9/11 fixations with the Islamic world of the Middle East and Central Asia to the rising Asia-Pacific.
Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlogDuring his two-day visit this week to Kiev, Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden unfurled President Barack Obama's "U.S....
Behind all Russia's machinations lies Putin's fear that Ukraine in the Western camp turns into a success story with better economic living standard and a higher degree of freedom for its people.
Since the establishment of the United Nations, countries are not supposed to be allowed to take land from one another. More specifically, Russia agreed to respect Ukraine's borders when Kiev gave up its nuclear weapons 20 years ago. Putin has shredded that historical document.
Surely Putin has long understood, better than anyone else, how a few calls and promises from the Kremlin could readily recruit many of these local leaders in eastern Ukraine to win their cooperation in organizing local residents for pro-Russian demonstrations. To an unappreciated provincial councilor who has gotten words of assurance that he or she would be warmly welcomed into Putin's party of power, the idea of secession from Ukraine into Russia could become quite appealing. No bags of cash would be needed.