Putin el jugador de pókar

Tal vez se necesita que en el Kremlin haya un ex espía de la KGB para poder jugar hábilmente al pókar diplomático. En efecto, el presidente Vladimir Putin hace gala de tanta maestría en la diplomacia internacional como en el manejo de los asuntos internos de Rusia. Desde que Gustav Stresemann, el ministro de asuntos exteriores de la Alemania de Weimar, aprovechó la pugna entre la Unión Soviética y Occidente, ningún líder con una mano tan mala había jugado sus cartas con tanta efectividad. Las últimas maniobras de Putin en Corea y su cuidadoso tratamiento del tema de Irak son sólo los ejemplos más recientes.

La diplomacia, en su forma tradicional, nunca fue uno de los fuertes de Rusia. Bajo los zares, el país estaba frecuentemente aislado. Aun cuando formaba parte de alianzas (la Triple Alianza con la Alemania de Bismarck y el Imperio Habsburgo, o la Entente con Francia antes de la Primera Guerra Mundial) se quedaba alejada.

Los líderes rusos solían afrontar su temor al aislamiento (y a quedar rodeados) haciendo todos los esfuerzos posibles para parecer amenazadores. En la era soviética, las distancias entre Rusia y sus vecinos se convirtieron en abismos infranqueables, donde Rusia estaba rodeada ya fuera por Estados hostiles o por países débiles y serviles. Stalin no perdió el tiempo para enemistarse con la China comunista después de la revolución de 1949 de Mao.

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