Timothy AshHow should we read Russia, and Vladimir Putin’s game plan with respect to the US, the west and Ukraine?

My own view is that Putin is in waiting mode, reflected by the fact that Russia has stepped back from further military intervention in Ukraine and seems to be adopting a holding pattern in Syria. In both conflicts Russia would likely have to commit significant military resources to ensure delivery on its strategic objectives, and this side of elections to the Duma (September 2016) and perhaps also the presidency (March 2018) this just presents too many risks. Read more

Timothy AshA few comments on Brexit from a British/EM perspective:

First, on the idea that somehow Brexit can be avoided. Frankly, I just don’t buy that. It was made crystal clear that this was an in-out decision, and we all voted on that assumption. It is patronising to the electorate to think we can change the rules because the majority voted the wrong way, at least in some peoples’ view. Read more

Timothy AshIt is sad how anti-Turkish rhetoric and jingoism are so easily flowing off British and other western politicians’ tongues these days, with Turkey seemingly appearing as the whipping boy of Europe. So it is ironic how Brits and many continental Europeans are quite happy to go in great numbers to Turkey every year, to enjoy Turkey’s great hospitality and the common history of European and Asian civilisations in great cities such as Istanbul.

They also tend to forget that Turkey helped to defend Europe against the threat of Communism as a loyal Nato member for more than 50 years and is now standing in the front line, insulating Europe from the instability and terrorist threat emanating from the Middle East. Read more