After months of threatening the start of Cold War 2.0, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has shifted from troop movements to talk of compromise.
The change of tune has been cautiously welcomed by the West, but experts and analysts warn that the Russian president is unlikely to be backing down.
“It would be immensely foolish to act upon what Putin says,” according to James Nixey, who heads the Russia and Eurasia Program at London-based think tank Chatham House. “It is a huge misreading of Vladimir Putin and everything that he stands for to think that he’s backing off now and it’s all over.”
Analysts said that Putin’s comments are less conciliatory than a change in tactics toward achieving his great ambition: Russia’s re-emergence as a superpower.
“The tone has changed for a simple reason – it benefits him,” Nixey said. “He doesn’t do anything that doesn’t benefit the Russian tactical game.”
The Russian leader has “an enormous toolbox” of various instruments to get what he wants – military capabilities, cyber-warfare, corruption and diplomacy, according to Nixey.
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