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US-Russia summit on European security sounds cold war echo

Vladimir Putin goes into Geneva talks with strong hand as west struggles to present united front


The negotiations chime with two fundamental objectives that have defined Putin’s two-decade rule: a seat at the geopolitical top table opposite the US, and the prospect of halting Nato’s eastern expansion and shrinking the American military presence in Europe. “The very fact . . . that security guarantees are being discussed at all . . . is a huge breakthrough” for Russia, said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of R. Politik, a Kremlin-focused political consultancy. “It’s never happened before.”
R. Politik’s Stanovaya said Putin would only be satisfied with concrete progress in Geneva, given the extent to which Nato has already expanded into the former Soviet eastern Europe. “In reality, no one knows what will be enough . . . because it’s clear Putin won’t get everything on his list,” she added. “But on this first stage . . . some sort of concession on the part of the US will be necessary.”

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