VIDEO | Edward Lucas: Putin has become a dangerous poker player (3)
Edward Lucas, senior editor at the Economist magazine, told ETV's "Välisilm" that the hitherto careful Russian President Vladimir Putin has become reckless and dangerous. The West knows how to neutralize him, but is refusing to take action.
"There is an awful lot of Europe that is still asleep," Lucas said. Russia is using a whole range of security threats that the West is not used to dealing with.
"Russia is not brilliant in what it does, they make mistakes, whether it is in espionage or economic sanctions or whatever, but because the push-back from the West is so weak they get away with these mistakes," he added.
Regarding the unfriendly welcome Putin received in the recent G20 summit, Lucas said: "I worry about publicly humiliating him because it might encourage him to do something to respond, which might be something reckless, and we have to take into account that Putin is acting in an increasingly reckless way. He used to be rather cautious and play chess, now I feel he has become rather reckless and is playing poker and has become quite dangerous in current conditions."
"I feel the West roughly knows what it would have to do, which is to go after his dirty money in the West and after the people who helped him launder it in the West. But we are fundamentally at the moment unwilling to do it, and he sees that, and this is interpreted by him as a sign of weakness," he said.