One of the many downsides of the fateful Hopeless in Helsinki dialogue was that it made Putin, in contrast to his American interlocutor, look good – potent, coherent, in command – something the Russian media stressed with evident relish. It sent the message out to the world that here was a Russian leader, re-elected president for the fourth time, and in power for a six-year term, who is unassailable – in charge of his program, his administration and his country.
But maybe not?
…“Putinism” – in the form of a country largely hostile to the West – will prevail as any successor seeks to preserve Putin’s success in making Russia at least appear to be great again.
It’s not the week to say it, but Donald Trump has a point. It isn’t original and what it proposes will be hard to do, yet when he says that “getting along with Russia is a good thing,” as he did before his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month, he isn’t wrong…
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Read more: Commentary: Picturing a post-Putin Russia