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How Low Can Russia Go?

The last we heard from journalist Lionel Beehner at HuffPo, he laid out the case for why Russia isn’t nearly as important in world affairs as many make it out to be (provoking widespread and often unfriendly chatter in the blogosphere). Today he checks in on the British Council dispute, remarking that shutting down this harmless institution is comparable to “closing down a mom-and-pops bookstore in Las Vegas for selling sinful magazines.” How low, he asks, can Russia go? While it is clearly an article written for general audiences, Beehner does put forward one interesting theory for the reasons behind the more eccentrically offensive diplomatic moves made in recent years: Russia is paranoid about becoming irrelevant in world affairs once the price of oil drops. An interesting but controversial take. Lionel Beehner: Can Russia Sink Any Lower? (Huffington Post)