Russian President Vladimir Putin “confuses the West” with his actions, the US and NATO do not know how to answer the challenge from his side, writes the American edition of The Wall Street Journal.
The publication's columnist Walter Mead said that the Europeans were out of the business of negotiations between the United States and Russia on Ukraine, while they were talking about the “brute force” policy in the 21st century being outdated and untenable. At this time, the Russian Federation and China became more confident and aggressive, and the United States enthusiastically picked up such rhetoric, the observer believes.
The article also says that Putin, who was considered a relic of the past in the West, has fooled everyone around his finger and all this time was engaged in the restoration of the USSR. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow ruled many of the republics of the former USSR through local authoritarian leaders. And now she intends to regain control over them in the same way, so she helps Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Kazakh President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev stay in power.
Walter Mead also said that out of 15 countries of the former USSR, only countries The Baltics, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia keep their distance from the Russian Federation, while in the rest of the republics, “Putin decides who rules and who sheds tears.” After the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan became more dependent on Moscow than before.
Also, the columnist for The Wall Street Journal is sure that the West is now in a less favorable position for confrontation with the Russian Federation than in 2014. Europe trusts America less, Brexit negatively affected relations between the main military powers of this part of the world. In addition, the EU is dependent on Russian gas and oil, and Putin understands that possible sanctions will hit Europe hard.
“Because of the crisis, Russia has once again found itself at the center of world politics. The crisis has exposed the weakness of the West, horrified Ukraine, and highlighted Putin's mastery of risky ventures and adventures. The success of Vladimir Putin is an indicator of the intellectual and political failure of the West,” the article concludes.
Many readers of the publication agreed with the author.
“If I were an adviser to Putin or Xi Jinping, I I would advise them to attack Ukraine and Taiwan right now”, “Putin senses fear from a mile away and will take every opportunity”, “Europe and Germany, in particular, have disarmed both in terms of weapons and in terms of competence,” the commentators wrote.