I believe they’re dealing with it in addition to they are often, given the circumstances. Writ massive, what the administration is doing proper now could be definitely what I might advocate doing. However I don’t know whether or not we are able to say if it’s going to work or not. The true check goes to be over a protracted time period. I don’t assume that is going to be a brief, sharp disaster.
What do you imply?
Putin’s been making an attempt to get a grip on Ukraine for years now. They minimize off the gasoline to Ukraine in 2006. He’s been in energy for 22 years, and the entire of that point, he’s had Ukraine within the cross hairs a method or one other, and it’s intensified over time. Putin desires to be the one that, on his watch, in his presidency, pulls Ukraine again into Russia’s orbit. And he could possibly be president till 2036, by way of what’s doable for him.
Is that this essentially ideological for him, or geopolitical?
It’s about him personally — his legacy, his view of himself, his view of Russian historical past. Putin clearly sees himself as a protagonist in Russian historical past, and is placing himself within the place of earlier Russian leaders who’ve tried to assemble in what he sees because the Russian land. Ukraine is the outlier, the one which received away that he’s received to convey again.
And does that imply that he’s behaving irrationally right here?
No, I don’t assume he’s being irrational in any respect, from his perspective. He’s in a special body from the place we’re. He’s dwelling in historical past and his narrative of historical past. He additionally is a component of a bigger group of safety individuals in Russia who’ve been against NATO growth; they need the U.S. out of Europe.
Nevertheless it looks as if he’s made his safety state of affairs worse.
That’s from our perspective, on the surface. We don’t know precisely what he’s saying internally. From his viewpoint proper now, he’s put the squeeze on Ukraine and the Ukrainian financial system is getting crushed. He’s received all of our consideration. We’re all working round doing nothing however discuss him. As he would say, he’s received us listening to him now. Whether or not we’re listening to him on the phrases that he desires us to is one other matter.