Putin’s Reelection: Implications for Russia and the World
Russian voters went to the polls on March 4 to choose their next president. While politics in Russia have undergone a seismic shift over the past six months, few doubted that Vladimir Putin would return to the presidency following four years as prime minister. He now confronts a host of domestic challenges, particularly in the economic area, and as president will resume the position as Russia’s primary face to the outside world. What are the implications for Russian domestic and foreign policy? What will a Putin presidency mean for the United States, Europe and the world?
On March 7, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) held a discussion to explore the political, economic and foreign policy implications of the election. Panelists included Brookings Senior Fellows Fiona Hill, Clifford Gaddy and Steven Pifer. CUSE Director Fiona Hill provided introductory remarks.
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[The resignation of assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Wess Mitchell] is surprising news, which seems to have caught everyone off guard. He doesn’t appear to have shared this news with his ambassadors, who were in Washington last week for a global chiefs of mission conference. His deputy is also slated to retire soon, which raises question of near term leadership on European policy at a time of challenges there.
[Wess] Mitchell was a strong supporter of NATO, particularly in Eastern Europe where he will be sorely missed. His departure comes follows the resignation of senior Pentagon officials – Robert Karem and Tom Goffus – working on NATO along with Secretary Mattis. Without this pro-alliance caucus, NATO is now more vulnerable than at any time since the beginning of the Trump administration.