On Putin's strategic chessboard, a series of destabilizing movements

“I welcome the signs of will on the other side not only to produce and promote its own views,” said Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister, “bu...


“I welcome the signs of will on the other side not only to produce and promote its own views,” said Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister, “but also to listen to what we tell them “.

Before sitting down with Mr Putin in Geneva in June, Mr Biden met with leaders of the Baltic states to assure them that the United States will continue to honor its defense commitments under the alliance of NATO. The administration, according to people familiar with its thinking, believe more direct talks – including perhaps a conversation between Mr Biden and Mr Putin – will be needed to better understand Moscow’s intentions, rather than simply s ‘lean on old-fashioned Kremlinology.

But Ms Skaisgiryte, Lithuania’s foreign policy official, said the United States should exercise caution in its dealings with Russia, even though Mr Putin claims, as he did on Thursday, that Russia is a “peace loving” state.

“We must not be naive,” Ms. Skaisgiryte said. “We have to be very vigilant about what he is doing on the ground, and not get caught up in Putin’s rhetoric.”

What does Mr. Putin want? Ms. Skaisgiryte’s response is simple: “To restore the Soviet Union.

Mr Trenin, the Carnegie analyst, said Mr Putin had little interest in full-fledged invasions and occupations of other countries, given that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s helped to precipitate the collapse of the Soviet Union. But he said securing international engagement with Ukraine as a neutral state, with its more pro-Russian side enjoying some autonomy, was a key priority for the Kremlin.

“President Putin has come to the conclusion that normal diplomatic ways, means, forms and methods are not working,” Trenin said. “The situation is, potentially, pretty bad. “

Andrew Higgins contributed reporting from Bruzgi, Belarus, and Julian E. Barnes contributed from Washington.

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Newsrust - US Top News: On Putin's strategic chessboard, a series of destabilizing movements
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