fbpx

Flattering, Squeezing, and Ignoring

From the Economist:

The overall result is dismal. Russia tends to put countries in one of three categories: those it flatters, those it squeezes, and those it ignores. Countries can be switched with remarkable rapidity. Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Romania are, for now, in the “ignore” category. Estonia and Lithuania, as well as, most of all, Britain, are in the “squeeze” category. France, Germany, Italy. Bulgaria and Poland are, for now, in the “flatter” box. Latvia was there too—but this week’s news of the expulsion of a Russian embassy official, supposedly caught red-handed trying to bribe local public servants, may change things. The result is a kind of diplomatic ratchet, which goes in one direction only. That suits the Kremlin fine—it doesn’t need to be friendly with all European countries, just enough to prevent any united European policy emerging.