Putin der Pokerspieler

Vielleicht muss man als Kreml-Chef ein ehemaliger KGB-Spion sein, um im diplomatischen Poker geschickt zu agieren. Tatsächlich zeigt sich Präsident Wladimir Putin auf dem internationalen diplomatischen Parkett ebenso gewandt, wie beim Management innerer Angelegenheiten. Seit Gustav Stresemann die Sowjetunion und den Westen erfolgreich gegeneinander ausspielte, hat es kein Politiker verstanden, derart schlechte Karten im Poker so effizient einzusetzen. Putins jüngste Schachzüge in Nordkorea und seine vorsichte Haltung gegenüber dem Irak sind nur zwei Beispiele aus der jüngsten Vergangenheit.

Die Diplomatie in ihrer traditionellen Form war nie Russlands große Stärke. In der Zarenzeit war Russland oft isoliert. Auch wenn Russland selbst Teil eines Bündnisses war - wie des Dreikaiserabkommens mit Bismarcks Deutschland und dem Habsburger-Reich, oder der Entente an der Seite Frankreichs vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg - wurde es auf Distanz gehalten.

Russische Machthaber begegneten ihrer Furcht vor Isolation - und Umzingelung - üblicherweise mit dem Versuch bedrohlich zu erscheinen. In der Sowjetära entwickelten sich die Grenzen mit Russlands Nachbarn zu unüberwindlichen Gräben. Die UdSSR war entweder von feindseligen oder schwachen, unterwürfigen Staaten umgeben. Stalin verlor auch keine Zeit, sich das kommunistische China nach Maos Revolution 1949 zum Feind zu machen.

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