December 10, 2021

Putin Keeps Washington Guessing as U.S. Huddles With Allies to Prevent Ukraine Invasion

Featuring Andrea Kendall-Taylor, and Michael Kofman

Source: The Washington Post

Journalists John Hudson, Paul Sonne

President Biden faces a dilemma as the United States prepares for European security negotiations with Moscow amid the threat of a new Ukraine invasion: How much should Washington accommodate Russian President Vladimir Putin — and would any plausible concessions be enough for him to stand down?

Those questions will be top of mind for U.S. officials and their European allies, who are in the early stages of organizing talks with the Russians on the myriad complaints Putin has made about Ukraine, NATO and a European security environment he says is overly threatening to Moscow.

Putin’s demands, and whether to make any concessions, are already testing the unity of the 30-country NATO alliance.

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“It all comes down to where Putin’s head is and what he feels is good enough to take back to the Kremlin. There is no one on this planet other than Putin who knows the answer to that question,” said Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a Russia analyst at the Center for a New American Security. “So, the point is, we try. We really try to go through this diplomatic process. We put in a good-faith effort.”

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“I don’t see us giving them anything that would suffice relative to their demands, and what troubles me is they know that,” said Michael Kofman, a Russian military analyst at the Virginia-based research group CNA. “They also can’t just back down from this level of crisis without tangible gains.”

Read the full story and more from The Washington Post.

Authors

  • Andrea Kendall-Taylor

    Senior Fellow and Director, Transatlantic Security Program

    Andrea Kendall-Taylor is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Transatlantic Security Program at CNAS. She works on national security challenges facing the United States and Eur...

  • Michael Kofman

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Michael Kofman serves as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses' Russia Studies Program, and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Internation...