Russia’s autumn of diplomatic success in Ukraine, Iran and Syria

Sept. 28, 2015: US President Barack Obama (L), and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), at a breakfast meeting during the 70th UN General Assembly session in New York City (source: dpa)
Sept. 28, 2015: US President Barack Obama (L), and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), at a breakfast meeting during the 70th UN General Assembly session in New York City (source: dpa)

More than the United States, China and certainly Europe, Russia pins its ambitions on diplomacy. The government needs diplomatic successes to bolster its position at home as much as its standing abroad. Over the past 25 years, foreign policy has served Russia’s bid to become again a great European power – commensurate with its size, resources and tradition – and eventually a global competitor to the US. It has pursued this status in various ways, searching for its identity and place in the world after the collapse of the Soviet empire.

This autumn, diplomacy around the world entered a new phase. Conflicts that had long been stuck in diplomatic limbo – the Iran nuclear standoff, the f...

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