The West Should Make Amends With Putin: Is it high time for a rapprochement with Putin? As the transatlantic alliance flounders and Britain wallows in Brexit psychodrama, Europe can no longer afford to keep Russian relations strained. In fact, a detente is now a ge...

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The West Should Make Amends With Putin: Is it high time for a rapprochement with Putin? As the transatlantic alliance flounders and Britain wallows in Brexit psychodrama, Europe can no longer afford to keep Russian relations strained. In fact, a detente is now a ge...

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Is it high time for a rapprochement with Putin? As the transatlantic alliance flounders and Britain wallows in Brexit psychodrama, Europe can no longer afford to keep Russian relations strained. In fact, a detente is now a geopolitical necessity. Containment policies may have made sense under Obama, but with an erratic Trump in the White House, rapidly ceding influence to Putin in the Middle East, Russia is now a major global actor – and a vital European partner. The Kremlin has steered the Syrian war and co-opted Turkey and Iran in the process. Its cooperation is paramount in establishing stability in the region, and in quashing ISIS. To maintain sanctions and froideur against Russia threatens our own security — as well as crucial infrastructure projects like Nordstream 2. And with an ascendant China eyeing up its neighbour, it’s clearly in Europe’s interest to follow Macron’s lead and try to pivot Putin back towards the West.Hang on, say Putin’s critics. Have we forgotten whom we’re dealing with? This is the Russian leadership that annexed the Crimea, shot down a passenger airliner in 2014, and continues to breach the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine. Malevolent Russian interference in the UK referendum and US elections, and support for far-right politicians in Italy and France, has destabilised the Western democratic order to the favour of divisive and isolationist populists. The Kremlin matches its concerted disinformation campaigns with a track record of callous assassinations on European soil, from Litvinenko and Skripal to the recent gunning down of a Chechen exile in Berlin. Russia has no interest in European friendship; on the contrary, it repeatedly shows itself intent on defying European rule of law and splintering European solidarity. What's more, the country’s entrenched corruption and dire human and LGBTQ rights record is fundamentally misaligned with European democratic values. Europe must stand firm, any acquiescence towards Putin will only strengthen the global drift towards authoritarianism.Speaking for the motion were Dominique Moïsi, political scientist and founding member of the Institut français des relations internationales; and Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent. Speaking against the motion were Carole Cadwalladr, an investigative reporter for The Guardian and The Observer; and Bill Browder, financier and activist. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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