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Does the West Need Autocrats to Fight Putin?

By embracing Poland's quasi-authoritarian regime in the interest of using the Polish border as an access point to Ukraine, Western powers have struck yet another Faustian bargain that they will come to regret. The lessons from the deal made with Turkey during the 2015 refugee crisis have been forgotten – or simply ignored.

VIENNA – In their scramble to counter Russian President Vladimir Putin’s murderous revanchism, Western leaders seem increasingly open to striking Faustian bargains with other authoritarian regimes. Hence, on March 16, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson traveled to Saudi Arabia to meet with its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – making him one of the few Western leaders to do so since the gruesome killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.