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The danger of resetting relations with Russia

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The president of the United States, the leader of the UK Labour Party, the prime minister of Hungary and the president of the Czech Republic, among other Western leaders, think a reset of relations with Russia is necessary.

While their reasons vary, all believe that the world is too dangerous to have a vast nuclear power growling in the East, and that they must try to understand and address Moscow’s grievances. Some sympathise with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s charge that NATO expanded eastward as the Soviet bloc dissolved, even though the alliance promised not to.

Others see Moscow’s wisdom in opposing Western interventions in Iraq and Libya, and in choosing to openly side with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to help crush the Syrian rebel groups, bolster Assad’s rule, retain the Russian bases in Syria and reassert some measure of Russian power in the Middle East.

Those in the West who favour strong states and authoritarian leaders........

© Reuters