Tuesday, August 8, 2017
Russia's demand that Washington scale down its diplomatic mission staffing is dramatic in tone yet limited in effect. Despite the large number of posts to be cut, this retaliation is a formality and underlines the paucity of options available to Moscow.
- Domestic media will present Moscow's retaliation as evidence of President Vladimir Putin's resolute defence of Russian interests.
- With little hope of a swift end to Western sanctions, Moscow will try to mitigate the effects through evasion or engagement with China.
- Moscow will lobby EU states to commit to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline despite the new sanctions' implied restrictions on such energy projects.