La Stampa. NATO, Ukraine, the sanctions — is a crucial year for the king

Vladimir should decide to raise if he bet on Damascus and Kiev or use the window that opened the White house for dialogue, writes Stefano Stefanini in the newspaper La Stampa.

«Putin plays on the ball, keeps Americans and Europeans in defense, the article says. — He’s suffering the consequences in the form of sanctions, but then clears in Syria. To understand what the mind of the Russian President, just look at the calendar that awaits him».

Above it hung two dates: the NATO summit in Warsaw on 8-9 July and a renewal of EU sanctions, which expire on July 31. Russia, naturally, would like to abolish or mitigate sanctions, but it does know that it depends on the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the logic of which it to some extent takes. However she calls an act of aggression, the establishment of NATO infrastructure, demand of the Baltic countries, Poland etc, the says Stefanini.

«Washington will become the arrow of scales at the NATO summit. Moscow is well aware. This summit is the last with the Obama administration, then the White house will be another (or other) by the President. To negotiate with Obama now or wait?» — putting yourself in the place of Putin the author.

«So the third date is the changing of the guard in Washington. And here is the fourth, depending on the case: stability of the Russian economy (and the consent in society) in terms of the spending on two wars, oil prices are around 30 dollars a barrel and EU sanctions. Projections (two years or even less?) may underestimate the ability of Russians to tighten their belts, the influence of nationalist propaganda and the prospects for oil prices, which could squeeze out, but even «the king» can’t ignore the economy,» says Stefanini.

Vladimir Putin at a crossroads: to maintain a high level of rates in Ukraine and Syria and to remain flexible in the relationship with the future head of the White house or take advantage of the «window» of Obama and look for a modus Vivendi. The NATO summit will be a decisive test of which approach is chosen, says the author. The American President can soften the response of the North Atlantic Alliance and to slow down the bubbling anti-Russian sentiment, but on the condition that Putin in response would cooperate and in Ukrainian, and on the Syrian track, in General, weaken the opposition.

Speaking at a conference in Munich, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev did not disclose maps of the Kremlin, but they will soon be opened in Syria after the entry into force of the agreement on a ceasefire and on talks in Geneva if they will resume. Maps opens and Ukraine, if the Russians will take advantage of local elections in the Donbass, to withdraw from the stage of some unpresentable leaders, the author writes.

The stefanini believes that «it would be a manifestation of myopia not to use the box, open the White house». This refusal may have pushed NATO into the arms of those who want to turn the Alliance into an anti-Russian stronghold and prevent any European rational thinking about the intensity of sanctions.

«If Putin believes that things will get better with the new President [of the USA], he should think twice. Or, maybe «king» is betting on President Donald trump, who promised to find common language with him?» — concludes the author.

Translation InoPressa

La Stampa. NATO, Ukraine, the sanctions — is a crucial year for the king 15.02.2016

Февраль 15th, 2016 by
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