President Barack Obama has finally decided to break the silence and resume discussions with the Russian president Vladimir Putin. After having been silent for one year, Obama has come to the conclusion that there is not much to lose if he were to have a serious discussion with Putin, especially since they will both be at the United Nations next week, in New York.
The conclusion has emerged after the internal administration had a serious debate about whether Obama should face Putin or not and the expectations are quite low when diplomatic progress comes to mind. In the end, the U.S. president realized that there is not much at stake given Putin’s situation regarding his foreign policy plans.
Russian troops are still stationed in Ukraine and Syria and Putin’s next move remains a total mystery. Only after a certain amount of time has passed can the world understand what Putin is up to but, until then, the world is just keeping a watchful eye to make sure that a certain level of “peace” is preserved.
The senior administrator official has publicly stated that Obama “believes it would be irresponsible” to not tackle the Russians and see if they can come to any sort of diplomatic progress. With the situations developing fast in Ukraine and Syria, every discussion with Russia’s president can be very insightful.
Obama and Putin will meet and have informal meetings on the sidelines of the United Nations’ gathering. The White House has made it clear that the U.N. meeting has been requested by Vladimir Putin and Obama has yet to have attended it in approximately one year. It is interpretable whether Putin himself made it an opportunity to speak to Obama face to face.
This encounter is not like any other, especially because Russia is such a difficult country to tackle at the moment. Putin’s stance is unique and engaging him actually puts the Obama foreign policy to the test: is it wiser to approach countries and attempt to change their mind, or is it a dangerous game that could backfire with military intervention and a more difficult relationship?
It remains to be seen whether this encounter will end in a positive manner or not, but it is fair to say that eliminating Putin from the foreign policy discussions will not soften the relationship between the two countries in any way, it can only make it colder. And a cold area is where Putin might just have the upper hand.
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