Putin Pivots From Western Pressure, but Finds Scant Solace in the East

11 Sep 2018

(EDM) The annual Russia-hosted Eastern Economic Forum is about to open (September 11–13) in Vladivostok, and President Vladimir Putin has arrived there to greet the leaders of China, Japan, Mongolia and South Korea. This carefully prepared ceremony should provide relief for him from the mounting tensions in relations with the West and from the difficult bargaining in Tehran with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Kommersant, September 8). Chinese President Xi Jinping and other Asian dignitaries can indeed pretend that they have never heard of the “Skripal affair” (see below) and care little about the new escalation of the Syrian war. That said, they have their own concerns about Russia’s behavior under the pressure of expanding Western sanctions, even if South Korea had opted out of this regime and Japan is signaling possible relaxation if Moscow shows flexibility on the deadlocked issue of the South Kurile Islands (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 2). [...]

Read More © Eurasia Daily Monitor