May 17, 2022

OH: Putin on Sweden and Finland: Never mind.

Most of the Russian saber-rattling over Finland and Sweden applying to join NATO seemed to come to a halt this morning. After threatening “military-technical” action in response to any further expansion of the alliance along Russia’s western border, Vladimir Putin executed what appears to be an about-face on the topic while addressing a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Rather than talking about expanding the war beyond the borders of Ukraine, Putin said Russia has “no problem” with those states being accepted as members. He added some caveats after that which could produce additional tensions in the region, but for the most part, it sounded as if he has made his peace with the new state of affairs. Of course, we should keep in mind that Putin says a lot of things, only to turn around the do the exact opposite later.

He already had more on his plate than he could handle.

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