Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Putin And The UN

Vladimir Putin makes a variety of sensible points in his NYT op-ed. Two of the big motivations behind it are (1) to strengthen the UN as an international body through which America operates and (2) to impress Americans. Russia would much rather see the US go through the UN than use other international venues (NATO, for instance) to coordinate foreign policy. Russia has a permanent UN Security Council seat, so its power rises as the UN's power rises. Meanwhile, NATO is an alliance originally set up against the Soviet Union, even if that's become less of a focus in recent years. Putin also wants to look like a reasonable person in front of Americans, so we'll be less likely to oppose him in the future.

I think the op-ed accomplishes both purposes fairly well, though this should do nothing to reduce our opposition to Putin's authoritarianism within Russia, particularly on issues like free speech and gay rights.
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