The participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Australia was a success as he felt the West's antipathy towards Russian policies personally, says University of Tartu professor Andres Kasekamp.
Kasekamp said that it is very important for Putin that he and Russia are shown respect, and such dislike, as he experienced in Brisbane, could have been hard to swallow, ultimately forcing him to leave earlier.
Putin experienced the cold shoulder as Russia has been reminding nations of its might by scrambling its military aircraft and navy.
“It left a very bad taste in the mouth […] It was an attempt to show the nation's strength and thus earn respect, but it played out differently,” Kasekamp said, speaking about Russia's decision to send its navy to patrol near Australia just before the G20 meeting.
According to Kasekamp, Putin's words about the sanctions, when he said they are hurting the world, shows that Russia is suffering and the West is on the right path.
Russia is mainly part of the G20 as it has nuclear weapons and it inherited the legacy of the Soviet Union, and the fact that it is a permanent UN Security Council member, but not due to its economic might, Kasekamp said, and the part of the summit which focused on the world economy, was conducted without Putin.
G20 members demanded that Russia help with the investigation of the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine, and the very next day work began to collect and send the wreckage of the aircraft to the Netherlands for further investigation.
Kasekamp said it is highly likely Putin will vent his anger and frustration out at someone, probably Russia's internal opposition and Ukrainians.
Putin would want a new Cold War in the sense that two equally strong sides dominate world politics, but Kasekamp said that is not possible as the West has pulled away. But Russia could continue to isolate itself and the West will invest more into defense.