Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (back) attend a reception to honour graduates of military academies at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 28, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin/viaREUTERS
Ian Bremmer, Time: Putin Is on a Foreign-Policy Winning Streak
This is a really good time to be Vladimir Putin. Others can offer evidence to confirm or refute the charge that he’s using cyberweapons to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, but there can be no doubt that he’s enjoying the speculation. American fears that Russia could steal the White House surely make him smile, particularly since he is convinced that Clinton incited protests against him in Moscow in 2011.
But his recent good fortune extends well beyond the U.S. Start with the Brexit vote, a big break for Russia in a time of sanctions. The U.K. has long been among the E.U.’s toughest Russia hawks. There will now be one less forceful voice in the room as E.U. leaders debate how to bolster Ukraine and punish bad Russian behavior. Sanctions will ease, and Russia can now more easily play the credible counterweight to an E.U. at risk of crack-up.
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WNU Editor: These foreign policy "successes" are (IMHO) minuscule, and while I am sure that Russian President Putin prefers this situation instead of the opposite (the fall of Syrian President Assad, more EU sanctions, and Ukraine's war exploding) .... it is the home-front that is worrying him the most .... Putin Is Culling His Inner Circle (Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg).