Despite the Rising Stakes, Russia and the West Opt for Indefinite Proxy Conflict

Despite the Rising Stakes, Russia and the West Opt for Indefinite Proxy Conflict
Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump at a joint news conference at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Aug. 18, 2018 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

The political space for dialogue between Russia and the West has shrunk severely in recent years.

It narrowed even further last week, with potentially disastrous consequences.

United Nations officials signaled that the chances of a deal to end the Syrian war are lower than ever. Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that there will be no progress toward ending the Ukrainian conflict until next year at the earliest. And Putin’s American counterpart, Donald Trump, announced that the U.S. will quit a crucial nuclear arms control agreement with Moscow.

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