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Insight on the diplomacy happening between Russia and Western Allies
Reporters looking for third-party experts related to issues around diplomacy and the ongoing tensions between Russia and Western European countries and the US, please see comments from Steven Pike, assistant professor of public relations at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Previously, he spent more than 20 years with the U.S. Department of State as a diplomat and foreign service officer.
- “The international relations scholar in me starts from one ineluctable reality: for a lot of political and economic reasons, Ukraine is economically critical to Russia. Without it, Russia is economically weakened. Having Ukraine locate politically/economically/militarily in the West reduces Russia’s power drastically. So Putin wants it; he’s always wanted it,” said Pike.
- “A lot of what’s going on now is testing, and it’s being paraded before the cameras. There’s a LOT of public diplomacy going on. Russia is testing the strength of the Western alliance. Biden outperformed Putin’s expectations getting the fractious Germans and French in line. There are several similar dimensions to the rapprochement with China that all have to do with testing the US credibility as a counterweight to China. East Asian allies are watching; if America can’t unite Europe to stare down Russia, how can they be confident that we will stand with them when they’re under pressure from China?” said Pike.
- “There is only one important question for Americans, however. When Putin does not get what he wants, he makes trouble; when he gets what he wants, he’s quiescent,” said Pike.
Please contact Ellen James Mbuqe, director of media relations at Syracuse University, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315.480-4401, to arrange an interview.