Putin’s doubling down on foreign adventures could send Russia into bankruptcy….


according to William Courtney, an adjunct senior fellow at the nonprofit, nonpartisan Rand Corp. and former U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan and Georgia, and Howard J. Shatz, a senior economist at Rand.

The Kremlin, driven by political ambition, pursues a sphere of influence nearby and great power status beyond, in a quest to exercise sway over its neighbors and counter U.S. and Western influence globally. But the Kremlin’s efforts are often expensive or self-defeating, they write for Newsweek.

The Russian state lacks any countervailing powers to curb Putin’s geo-political adventures, with the legislature especially toothless.

The State Duma is a powerless body, respected by no one — since everything is decided by Putin, says pro-democracy advocate Leonid Gozman. He speaks at a National Endowment for Democracy discussion tomorrow on “Remembering Lyudmila Alexeyeva, the Matriarch of Russia’s Human Rights Movement.”

Speakers: former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Daniel Fried, fellow at the Atlantic Council Future Europe Initiative and Eurasia Center; John Tefft, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia; Catherine Cosman, former senior policy analyst with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; Leonid Gozman, president of Russia’s Union of Right Forces; and Miriam Lanskoy, NED’s senior Russia and Eurasia director.

10 a.m. – February 14, 2019. Venue: SVC-209-08, U.S. Capitol. RSVP: 202-378-9675, info@ned.org; Media must RSVP to press@ned.org.

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