Staunton, November 17 – The treatment the leaders of the G-20 countries meted out to Vladimir Putin suggests that they have finally decided that they cannot and must not deal “with this president of Russia and with this regime,” something that recalls US President Ronald Reagan’s May 1983 words about “the evil empire,” according to Yevgeny Kisilyov.
In that speech, the Moscow journalist says, Reagan said that communism in the form on offer in the Soviet Union was living through its last days. Updating and rephrasing Reagan, he continues, “Putinism is yet another path in the development of Russia which is leading it into nothingness” (echo.msk.ru/blog/kiselev/1438438-echo/).
“Sooner or later – and in [Russian] life the majority of events take place much sooner than we expect – this path will finally lead to a dead end,” Kisilyov argues.
The Brisbane meeting suggests, he continues, that “the West has finally recognized something which earlier only a few were prepared to say: Putin respects only force. All attempts to negotiate with him, to convince him, to offer compromises, or to call for respect of international law, he considers a manifestation of weakness by the Western world.”
This Kremlin leader believes “only in one right – the right of the strong.”
Apparently, the West has decided that it is time to see “who is stronger.” The West with its billion people or Russia with its 144 million, the West with 60 percent of the world’s GDP or Russia with two, the West with its advanced technologies, leading scientific centers, and international media or Russia which relies on oil and gas exports and has few of the others.
In such a confrontation, the old Russian question – “who will defeat whom” – would seem to have only one answer, Kisilyov says, were it not for “one circumstance: Russia has nuclear weapons.” That is something extremely worrisome because it is not clear just how far Putin is prepared to go to stand up against the West and try to prove the correctness of his views.