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 CNAS. He served as President of CNAS from 2012–19 and as Senior Fellow from 2009–12. Prior to CNAS, he was foreign policy ad...