The focus of Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) on federal elections and European unity in 2017 will leave Poland and its Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, (R) to take regional leadership of opposition to Russia.
(JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Shifting political winds and growing tensions among Western powers who thus far have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in their response to Russia have created an opening for Moscow, which is seeking to end its two-year standoff with the West. For now, the West has remained fairly united in attempts to contain Russian actions using economic sanctions and negotiations over its actions in Ukraine to apply pressure. But recent events have given Moscow hope for a break in its impasse with the West. In Donald Trump's election as U.S. president, Moscow perceives an administration that will be more sympathetic to its interests. Additionally, Russia will try to capitalize on increasing political and economic divides in Europe to push for an end to the sanctions....
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