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Recent developments in Russia-Pakistan relations seem to create a false impression of solid cooperation, which simultaneously irritates a few third countries. This is why Russia needs to rethink not only its policy towards Islamabad, but the region as a whole.
For most of Russian history, the country’s leaders have employed a top-down political system. When Crimea was annexed in 2014, the Kremlin temporarily allowed more decentralized patriotic activism to rally support, but they soon saw the potential risks and reverted to more centralized political control.
The president embodies the ambitions of a country that is proud of its history and means to retain its role within the international community.
Today Russia and the West perceive each other as political opponents, in fact. And one should treat one’s opponent very seriously. After all, if you don’t take your adversary very seriously, it might lead to underestimating your opposing side’s potential and overestimating your own capabilities.
Both China and Russia are led by leaders acting out of the national interest, which should mean that even if President Xi or President Putin will not be able to resolve their differences with President Trump, they will at least speak the same language.
A quarter-century after the dissolution of the Soviet Union Russia has moved away from Europe. Russian leaders regard their country as a self-sustained civilization related to Europe yet clearly separate from it.
Any ideology, not just communist, is a poor guide for foreign policy. Foreign military misadventures result in disappointment at home and loss of prestige abroad.
To Putin, Trump is a person who has not exactly had anything good to say about Russia, but has at least refrained from attacking or blaming Russia, which has become the norm in America today.
Speculations about the U.S. policy in South Asia may be right or wrong. But at least one thing is clear. In his policy toward South Asia, Trump will follow his understanding of pragmatic and realistic interests of the United States, and not seek how to please leaders of South Asian countries and beyond, including Russia.
Putin is creating the environment that can provide him with security and insurance and control the wars with the Kremlin’s inner circle. Russia’s political elites have already received a lot of signals from him: If somebody behaves in a wrong way, he will be either dismissed or accused of corruption.