True: we made mistakes. We tried too hard to pander to Russia in the Yeltsin era, ignoring the growth of corruption, authoritarianism and revanchism. We overlooked Russians’ resentment as their country drifted from the European mainstream and our vulnerability to the steps they could take in response. We neglected Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and the countries of the Caucasus. The Blair government was bewitched by the Putin regime’s offer of cooperation against Islamist terrorism in 2001. We have been frequently dazzled by the spurious commercial prospects offered by Russia – in particular BP’s decision to form an alliance with Rosneft, the main Russian oil company, was a shameful example of greed and short-sightedness.

very good paper by Edward Lucas

#edward-lucas #russia #putin #oil #gas #caucasus #blair #ukraine #moldova #belarus #rosneft #russian #bp #vulnerability #authoritarianism #corruption #revanchism #europe #politics #world #war #peace #regime #challenge #soviet #ussr #empire #imperialism #freedom

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