The West must face down Putin

If Russia’s ambitions are not checked, the implications will be global, warns James Nixey

The World Today Published 4 February 2022 3 minute READ

After seven years of invasions, annexations, assassinations, abuses and now the current crisis in European security over the fate of Ukraine, one thing has been laid bare: the true nature of the Russian state.

Moscow made its ambition clear in mid-December with the unprecedented and public issuing of ultimatums in the form of draft treaty proposals.

Portrayed by Russia as an attempt to end Nato’s expansion eastwards, the Kremlin is in fact demanding that the United States and western institutions roll back their security guarantees to Eastern Europe. 

These are not two sides of the same coin if one believes and accepts the principles of the Helsinki Accords that the successor states to the Soviet Union are just as independent and sovereign as Russia.

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