Vladimir Putin has made progress in restoring Moscow’s status as a great power. The United States may no longer be the indispensable nation, as that idea was understood in the 1990s.
Russia has employed a range of policy tools in recent years to undermine elements of the U.S.-led international order and expand Moscow’s influence on the global stage.
In dealing with the Kremlin, across so many divergent interests, there are no easy fixes or grand bargains.
In contrast to the populist image Russian President Vladimir Putin has created to galvanize support, he is part of today’s Russian establishment elite.
President Poroshenko’s power consolidation—and pushback against it—is the hallmark of Ukrainian politics heading toward elections in 2019. Yet reform progress is being made, even if the pace remains slow.
For all its bellicose talk and new sanctions against Nicolás Maduro’s government, the Trump administration has been oddly silent about Russia’s role, perhaps preferring not to draw attention to the fact that Moscow is now the bankrupt nation’s lender of last resort.
The conventional wisdom is that relations between Russia and Hungary are unusually positive and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is looking to Vladimir Putin’s Russia for inspiration for his illiberal state. Looks can be deceiving, though.
The EU must engage prudently with its Eastern European neighbors to encourage progress toward rules-based democratic governance while supporting their sovereignty in their dealings with Russia.
Russia’s renewed activism isn’t about dictating events in particular corners of the world. It is about exploiting opportunities to undermine and hollow out the U.S.-led international order, with its norms of economic openness, democratic accountability and the rule of law.
Conventional wisdom holds that the present situation in Washington is unprecedented. But veteran Russia-watchers have seen this before. They remember Russia in the 1990s.