Putin’s Demand for Respect

I read about this today. The President of Russia demands respect in his dealings with the US.

As a principle, his is within his rights to demand respect. It is a prerequisite  for any potential dialogue. But what does it mean? Reading Mr. Putin’s remarks, the suggestion is that Russia has not been respected. That the US needs to change its attitude towards Russia as a condition for settlement.

Of course, as with discussion of any principle, it is abstract. Respect can mean any number of things when it is translated into actions. On the one hand, it may mean only that the US must say that it respects Russia. On the other, it may mean that the US must refrain from any involvement in security issues in the region near Russia’s borders.

Which is it? And why? Well, the answers to these questions may determine whether Mr. Putin is angling to settle Ukraine or not. Let’s see what he means.

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