Maintaining Russian Power: How Putin Outfoxed the West

Putin’s ability to ‘outfox’ the West also comes from strong-arm tactics and both a combination of an incompetent American leadership, as well as arguably complicit — hence, more ‘flexibility’ from Obama in his second term.

In one of his many foreign-policy successes this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin has used power politics and blackmail to bring Ukraine back into Russia’s sphere of influence. But what is the Kremlin leader’s secret to success?

“We know,” Kirill said, launching into a hymn of praise for Putin, “that you, more than anyone else since the end of the 20th century, are helping Russia become more powerful and regain its old positions, as a country that respects itself and enjoys the respect of all others.” Continue reading

Ukraine Had No Option – Drop EU for Russia or Be Crushed

Collapse of talks a blow to European 
balance of power as Kremlin sanctions 
trump historic trade deal

Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine is slipping back under Kremlin control. Ukraine’s shock decision to opt for Vladimir Putin’s Russia and pull out of EU talks on the eve of an historic deal is a dramatic upset to the European balance of power. It is the first major defeat for the EU in its eastward march since the fall of Communism. While the region’s geopolitics remain fluid, the upset may prove as fateful as the move by the Kossack chief Bohdan Khmelnytsky to turn his back on the West and accept Tsarist suzerainty in the 1640s.

“Ukraine’s government suddenly bowed deeply to the Kremlin. The politics of brutal pressure evidently work,” said Karl Bildt, Sweden’s Foreign Minister. Continue reading

Military invasion threat discussed behind closed doors

RIGA – The Latvian government will have a closed meeting on Sept. 24, during which it will listen to an analysis of military invasion possibilities against the country, reports LETA. The analysis of possible military threats to Latvia’s security was prepared by the Defense Ministry, and will be presented to the government by Defense Minister Artis Pabriks.

The government meeting will be held at a time when Russian and Belarusian soldiers are carrying out large-scale military maneuvers near Baltic borders. Continue reading

NATO sees great potential for co-operation with Ukraine

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow has said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will support the European aspirations of Ukraine. At the same time, he noted that NATO respects Ukraine’s choice to adhere to the non-aligned status.

“The topic of Ukraine’s national security and its relations with international organizations is important, and recent developments in your country as well as in Russia, Republic of Moldova and Armenia have made it even more urgent,” he said. Continue reading