Cameron: No more Mr. Tough Guy. (Reuters/Anthony Devlin)
Steve LeVine, Quartz: With Brexit, Vladimir Putin is rid of his strongest EU opponent
Ever since Moscow faced its first EU sanctions after annexing Crimea in 2014, Russian president Vladimir Putin has faced one all-but-immovable object on the continent—the United Kingdom. For 27 months, as Putin has attempted to erode European unity and get at least some of the sanctions lifted, UK prime minister David Cameron has been his always impossible opponent, helping to cajole the rest of the EU’s 27 members to stay in line on the sanctions.
With Britain having voted June 23 to leave the EU, Putin will not be entirely among non-judgmental friends on European matters. He still faces a pro-sanctions phalanx in German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president François Hollande, and Polish prime minister Beata Szydło, said Kennan Institute director Matthew Rojansky. The three politicians were among those who on June 21 voted to extend the sanctions through Jan. 2017.
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WNU Editor: UK Prime Minister David Cameron was definitely not a friend of Putin, and like Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was not amicable to bending sanctions on Russia. But with time these leaders are being replaced by others who have a different viewpoint, and while sanctions are still in force, the will to maintain has just gotten a bit weaker.