Ukraine: Putinism is not the smart option for Russia

The Guardian publishes an opinion editorial by David Clark, chairman of the Russian Foundation, arguing that Putin should shed his streetfighter mentality and use Crimea as a bargaining chip, rather than risk 'losing' the rest of Ukraine to the west. The article says that Russia should be offered close and friendly ties consistent with the wishes of the Ukrainian people. Work should also be done to devise forms of economic co-operation that benefit Ukraine, Russia and the EU alike. The article concludes that Russian leaders therefore have to decide what matters to them most: to retain some influence over Ukraine as a whole, even if it means accepting and perhaps adopting some of its reformist preferences, or to narrow their ambitions to control of Crimea in order to stick with an unreformed version of Putinism.

Friday, March 7, 2014