Putin Trapped in an Escalatory Spiral of His Own Making

04 Dec 2018

(EDM) The tweet by United States President Donald Trump, canceling his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was such a shock for the Kremlin that a response was postponed until “official information” would arrive (RIA Novosti, November 29). When Putin’s aides figured out that it was, in fact official, they pointed to the domestic political situation in the US as the main reason for the non-summit (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, December 1). Trump, however, made it clear that the moment for a meeting was wrong because of the recent escalation in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, November 30). Putin’s inflexible position in this latest crisis shows that his ability to maneuver around military confrontations in order to maximize political gains has, for all intents and purposes, disappeared. [...]

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