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Nassauer, Ottfried

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Die Tageszeitung taz - Germany | 08/06/2007

Putin and Bush defuse the missile dispute

Otfried Nassauer, director of the Berlin Information Centre for Transatlantic Security (BITS), puts Putin's actions in a strategic context. "Are key decisions about European security to be made with or without Russia in the future? Will the West keep its promise to expand the NATO-Russia council in such a way that Russia and NATO members can jointly make decisions there? Vladimir Putin has sought this controversy without any risk to himself. He will go down in Russian history books as the president who stopped Russia's political and economic decline and restored the country's dignity. With a debate in which the West must decide whether Europe's security should be coordinated with Russia or directed against it, Putin may be able to achieve the same in foreign and security policy. Meanwhile, he is not putting himself at any risk. The decision about whether there will be a new confrontation will be made by the West or by Putin's successor."

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