Assessments

A New Year for Russia's Standoff With the West

Dec 26, 2016 | 14:03 GMT
For nearly three years, the United States and European Union have upheld their sanctions against Russia for its activities in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, but that could change in 2017.
For nearly three years, the United States and European Union have upheld their sanctions against Russia for its activities in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, but that could change in 2017.
(GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia may have something to look forward to in 2017. For the past three years, the country has suffered numerous strategic setbacks and faced significant pressure from the West. The 2014 Euromaidan uprising in Kiev ushered in a period of increased cooperation between Ukraine, the European Union and NATO. Other strategic countries along Russia's periphery, such as Moldova and Georgia, followed suit as U.S. and NATO forces expanded their presence and activities along the borderlands from Poland to the Baltics to Romania. At the same time, the United States and European Union imposed and continuously extended sanctions against the country for its actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. This put added strain on Russia's economy, which plunged into recession after oil prices crashed in mid-2014. To finagle a seat at the negotiating table with the West -- and the United States in particular -- Russia got involved in the conflict...

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