Putin’s Dirty Diplomacy Fails to Breach Sanctions Wall

18 Jan 2017

(EDM) Russia is frequently in the news these days, but its diplomatic successes at the start of the new year have been rather limited. Denials of Moscow’s various misbehaviors aside, the most significant step over the just-concluded extended holiday season was President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan in mid-December (RT, December 15, 2016). That visit generated high expectations and rampant speculation, particularly considering the scarcity of his foreign trips of late. Preparations continued for many months under tight secrecy. And at that time, many observers interpreted the series of statements from Moscow regarding Russia’s absolute inflexibility on the territorial non-issue of the disputed Kurile Islands as preparations for a surprise (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 5, 2016). [...]

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