Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why Putin Is the Big Winner in Greece’s Elections

by Keith Johnson & Jamila Trindle

Foreign Policy

January 27, 2015

Greece’s election of a self-proclaimed radical leftist could hand an unexpected win to Russian President Vladimir Putin by exacerbating divisions within Europe over how to respond to Moscow’s latest aggressive moves in Ukraine.

European foreign ministers are set to huddle Thursday, Jan. 29, to try to reach consensus on how to dial up the pressure on Russia — which escalated its proxy war in Ukraine over the weekend — without harming their own economic interests. An already tricky diplomatic game has gotten more complicated thanks to the outright defiance of Greece’s new government, which on its second day in office rejected a European proposal to study new reprisals on Moscow.

The United States is trying to wrestle reluctant European partners into supporting a fresh round of economic and financial sanctions on Russia; President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said this week that the administration is poring through its sanctions tool kit to try to change Russian behavior.


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