Donald J. Trump’s shocking triumph in the American presidential election will have some unusual foreign-policy repercussions. During the campaign, Democrats frequently tried to damage Mr. Trump’s standing by claiming that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was working for and supporting the Republican nominee. Now many may believe that America’s huge political upset could even be described as a victory for the Kremlin.
In fact, the idea peddled by American news media that Mr. Putin supports Mr. Trump is far removed from reality. Proponents of this idea have blithely ignored the assessments in mainstream Russian news media and by Russian analysts, which have never been particularly enthusiastic about Mr.… Seguir leyendo »
The decision of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, to send forces into Crimea provoked a hysterical reaction, but his motives are less ambitious than is commonly assumed.
Mr. Putin’s aim is not a de jure separation of Crimea from the rest of Ukraine. That would be legally problematic and disadvantageous to Moscow in terms of its future influence over Ukrainian politics. The purpose of Russia’s incursion was to obtain the greatest possible autonomy for Crimea while still retaining formal Ukrainian jurisdiction over the peninsula.
A referendum on March 30 is likely to result in a vote for further autonomy, and it would provide Crimea with such broad freedoms that it would become a de facto Russian protectorate.… Seguir leyendo »
Many in the West believe that Russia’s support for Syria stems from Moscow’s desire to profit from selling arms to Bashar al-Assad’s government and maintain its naval facility at the Syrian port of Tartus. But these speculations are superficial and misguided. The real reason that Russia is resisting strong international action against the Assad regime is that it fears the spread of Islamic radicalism and the erosion of its superpower status in a world where Western nations are increasingly undertaking unilateral military interventions.
Since 2005, Russian defense contracts with Syria have amounted to only about $5.5 billion — mostly to modernize Syria’s air force and air defenses.… Seguir leyendo »