Moscow Downplays the Mixed Warnings From Munich

19 Feb 2020

(EDM) The proceedings of the annual Munich Security Conference always attract keen attention in Moscow, and last weekend (February 14–16) was no exception. The discussions at this high-level forum are indeed highly consequential most years, but Russian interest continues to be stimulated by reflections on Vladimir Putin’s speech at the 2007 conference, which he likely to this day sees as his stellar moment on the world stage. In retrospect, the Kremlin leader’s old complaints about insufficient attention in the West to Russia’s interests look rather banal; but at least before the August 2008 Russian-Georgian War, there had been a foundation of trust, which Moscow has since demolished. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov used the Munich conference to once more try to sell Putin’s initiative on staging a summit of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, but US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo showed scant interest (Kommersant, February 15). [...]

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