Putin’s Attritional Diplomacy Leaves the West Permanently Off Balance

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference in the Konstantin palace, outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Aug. 9, 2016 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).
Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference in the Konstantin palace, outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Aug. 9, 2016 (AP photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko).

If Vladimir Putin ever loses interest in running Russia, he should set up a diplomatic academy. The British journalist and wit David Frost once defined diplomacy as “the art of letting somebody else have your way.” Through a mix of hard bargaining, guile and simple force, the Russian president has often shown that he knows how to do just that. His skills were on ample display last week. Putin welcomed his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to St. Petersburg to bury their tensions over Syria. He then ignited a new crisis with Kiev over an alleged shoot-out between Ukrainian and […]

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