March 18, 2014

Obama, Putin at breaking point

Featuring Richard Fontaine

Source: The Hill

The relationship between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have reached the breaking point over the crisis in Ukraine.

Through a series of long telephone conversations, Obama and Putin have talked extensively behind the scenes about the fate of Crimea, with the United States repeatedly warning Russia against a grab for territory.

But Putin appears to be forging ahead, defying Obama’s calls for a diplomatic solution that would allow both sides to save face.

Now the U.S. and its allies are directly hitting some of Putin’s closest advisers with sanctions in a move intended to isolate and punish the Kremlin.

Foreign policy analysts warn the latest steps could be the beginning of a deep freeze in U.S.-Russian relations.

“This has the potential to end very badly,” said Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security. “I don’t think this means war, but this could spell the beginning of a long period of extreme diplomatic alienation between the West and Russia.”

Please visit The Hill to read the full article. 


  • Richard Fontaine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Richard Fontaine is the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He served as President of CNAS from 2012-19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009-12...