Sanctions are becoming a form of economic regulation in this era of new protectionism. By virtue of its unique position in the world, the United States has the most opportunities to exercise this kind of regulation in its own interests.
Biden calls Russia the biggest threat to the United States, and sees Moscow’s policies as aimed at weakening Western countries internally; undermining the unity of such institutions as NATO and the European Union; and subverting the liberal world order.
Even a partial restoration of transatlantic unity under a President Biden will be a blow to the official Kremlin narrative about the inexorable movement of the international system toward a polycentric world order.
The latest EU sanctions against Russia send a clear signal: it’s not enough for individuals to have liberal ideas and reformist intentions; those ideas and intentions must be noticeable in the actions of the Russian state.
Moscow has repeatedly rejected any responsibility for its most contentious actions. As a result, Berlin’s trust and willingness to invest in the relationship with Russia has been wearing down for years.
Berlin is ending the era launched by Gorbachev of a trusting and friendly relationship with Moscow. Russia, for its part, no longer expects anything from Germany, and therefore does not feel obliged to take into account its opinion or interests.
John Bolton suggests that Putin can play Trump like a fiddle. The truth is that under the forty-fifth U.S. president, the bilateral relationship with Russia is now as bad as at any time since the early 1980s.