Russian president Vladimir Putin telephoned his American counterpart Barack Obama almost a week ago to hint to him what to expect next, and to tell him to send his secretary of state to Geneva to meet the Russian foreign minister. The Washington and Moscow versions of the phone call were at odds with each other.
From a Western point of view, no other candidate in the race would have been preferable to Putin. We know him, he knows us, and neither faction is likely to miscalculate with regards to the other. Putin seems the only leader on the horizon with the necessary resolve, know-how, and ruthlessness to make the country work.