Putin Is An Island

No man is an island, the poet John Donne said. If he is well briefed for his summit in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, President Bush should discount Donne's wisdom. For within Russia, President Putin does appear to be an isolated island, at least among the Russian elite who have singularly failed to embrace his decision to anchor Russia firmly to the West.

The elite's gripes about Putin's foreign policy are many, but they center mostly on the notion that America is running roughshod over Russian interests. American troops, they complain, are on the ground in the former Soviet republics of Georgia, Kyrgizstan, Tadjikistan, and Uzbelistan. The next wave of NATO expansion promises to lap onto Russia's border and indeed surpass the old Soviet borders by taking in the Baltic states. Foreign investment has scarcely increased.

Putin, they allege, has surrendered Russia' traditional notions of security and received nothing from the West in return. The crimes they attribute to Putin sound like the indictment for a treason trial.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.


By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in


Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.