Vladimir Putin’s ultimatum concerning NATO’s encroachment dispels the illusion of the American empire. From Tim Kirby at strategic-culture.org:
What Moscow is really asking for is to redraw the borders of influence between Russia and the West.
One of the most frequently asked questions about U.S.-Russian relations over the last few years has been “have we hit rock bottom?”. No matter how bad things seem, about every six months a few Congressmen with questionable motivations come up with a new pack of sanctions or other threats to make the situation get just a bit worse. After many years of this it seems as though there is always room for relations to somehow plummet even further down the dank shaft they are in. However, Washington may have run out of ideas and threats as both sides of Cold War 2.0 are set to meet around January 10th right after the holiday season in Russia officially ends to build a solid mutually approved deal so that hopefully U.S.-Russian relations can finally be exposed to daylight again.
From a Russian standpoint there is finally some cause for optimism due to the fact that they have chosen a logical hardline position and yet Washington, understanding it, has still agreed to discuss it. Although American diplomats and politicians (like those in many countries) are very skilled at nodding their heads for a couple hours then just doing whatever the hell the want to give the illusion of sticking out an olive branch, this time the Russian position is so clear cut that if it were completely off the table Washington wouldn’t even bother participating. They would be more likely to throw a PR hissyfit via the Mainstream Media accusing the Russians of X,Y, and Z, than listen to a position they find revolting for hours of negotiations. Essentially, the American side at least humoring Russia’s demands is a positive step for sure.