Britain’s referendum decision last month to leave the European Union has plunged Europe into crisis. There will be institutional and political upheaval for years to come while the terms of Britain’s knotty disentanglement are worked out. The ability of both Britain and the European Union to maintain their international influence and remain major forces on the world stage is in doubt, with potentially dire consequences for Continental order.
It is a stark situation. One person who understands this very well is Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin.
Mr. Putin has spent the past 16 years trying to destabilize the West. He has pursued a foreign policy designed to intimidate Russia’s near neighbors, undermine Euro-Atlantic unity and challenge the post-Cold War international order.… Seguir leyendo »
Ukraine and Russia are still at war. Since the Minsk II peace agreement came into effect on Feb. 15, nearly 400 Ukrainian soldiers and more than 200 civilians have been killed. Many more may die yet. As European Union leaders gather for a summit meeting this week, with the issue of whether to renew sanctions against Russia far from resolved, they cannot afford to ignore the continued violations of the cease-fire.
The Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, got the better end of the deal in Minsk II. He forced Ukraine to accept as legitimate the authorities he installed in the territories invaded by Russia.… Seguir leyendo »
Syria is being destroyed. The civil war, now more than four years old, has left the country in ruins. The implacable Islamic State controls vast areas of the north and east, and the barbaric regime of President Bashar al-Assad maintains its Damascus stronghold.
The Western powers — the United States and Europe — have no good options to combat the Islamic State, but they can’t do nothing. Either they must work with Mr. Assad’s regime to combat the jihadists, or ignore its existence and undertake military action alone to push back the jihadists. Thus far, though, the American-led air campaign against the Islamic State has done little to halt its advances.… Seguir leyendo »
Just over a year ago, Russia annexed Crimea in the first major land grab in Europe since World War II. The world has paid little attention to Crimea since then, but developments on the Black Sea peninsula provide fearsome insights into both the folly of Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, in Ukraine and his campaign of intimidation against Russia’s near neighbors.
Over the past 15 years, Mr. Putin has built a system in Russia in which opposition voices are silenced, individual rights are trampled on, freedom of expression is restricted, organized crime is rampant and property rights are arbitrarily enforced. Since Russia annexed Crimea, Mr.… Seguir leyendo »