… 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.