“[Putin] does not want to stop negotiating but rather continue increasing his sphere of influence in Europe. It is an interplay between military escalation and negotiations…If nothing happens militarily now, the chances of him taking action may be reduced. However, he can always withdraw and come back in the summer. We just don’t know. He can talk about deescalation all he wants, but he’s the one who is escalating.”

“He has maintained a respectful tone towards Macron. However, in the end, I am convinced [Putin] wants to make a deal with the United States. They are the most powerful countries in the world. If he can strike a deal with the strongest country, Putin can also show that Russia is strong.”

Further reading

Related Experts: Anna Wieslander