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Caetano, Edgar

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Observador - Portugal | 17/12/2014

Putin with his back to the wall

Russian President Vladimir Putin's unreasonable attitude in the Ukraine conflict has been a huge mistake, the liberal online newspaper Observador comments: "Economic sanctions, the risk of recession, capital flight and tumbling oil prices: Putin is standing with his back to the wall. Whereas at the start of the year the world was asking how far Russia would go with the annexation of Crimea, 2014 is ending with a very different question: How far will Russia fall? The former world chess champion Garry Kasparov has said he doesn't see any way out for Putin on the chessboard of international geopolitics. So is this checkmate? ... The current crisis, Kasparov says, reveals the weaknesses of an economy far too dependent on petrodollars and a system in the hands of a dictator. And what's more: 'The markets have recognised that the necessary structural reforms can't be implemented as long as Putin is in power.'"

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