Security expert: Putin struggled to explain situation in Russia

Rainer Saks.
Rainer Saks. Source: ERR

In his speech on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin struggled to explain the current situation in Russia, said security expert Rainer Saks on ETV show "Aktuaalne kaamera." Saks also stressed that Putin's threats to the West were no longer effective.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his annual address to the Russian Federal Assembly. Later the same day, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke to crowds in Warsaw, Poland. Security expert Rainer Saks said that Putin struggled to explain Russia's current situation, while Biden's speech was more forward looking.

"These threats coming from (Putin) were not threats for Ukraine. For Ukraine, this is nothing new. I would say, however, that the Russian president is trying to bring this conflict to the point of a strategic confrontation with the U.S. and (also) to the global level," Saks said.

"I think there will be a very important follow up to the Russian president's speech in China over the coming days. High-level Chinese officials are also currently in Moscow to coordinate this," he added.

"What the U.S. President said, is very important to balance this. In fact, if we compare (the two speeches), the U.S. President's speech seemed determined and forward looking. (On the other hand), the Russian president struggled to explain the situation that Russia is in," Saks said, comparing Putin's address on Tuesday, with the speech given by U.S. President Joe Biden in Warsaw the same day.

According to Saks, Russia suspending its involvement in the New START nuclear treaty with the U.S.. was an indirect attempt to play up the nuclear threat and of the conflict becoming global.

"In this context, China obviously has to come up with some kind of peace proposal. That Russia is creating a threat and then China will offer a way out," Saks suggested.

"They are trying to play out a kind of Cold War scenario. But I don't think these threats are working anymore for Russia. The West's policy of supporting Ukraine is well established. I hope that the coalition in support of Ukraine will succeed in growing and will not remain limited to just the Western countries. (Hopefully) that cooperation will be consolidated and these threats (being made) now will actually work in Ukraine's favor tactically," Saks said.

In his speech, Putin avoided the topic of mobilization. "Back in January, (Putin's) close associates stressed that there was no need for a new wave of mobilizations. Now, he was giving his speech in a situation, where he was expecting there to be good news from the front. That has not arrived, so he remained silent on the mobilization issue. This is one of the factors that will determine whether the war goes on for a really long time or if Russia's resources are exhausted in the next six months," Saks said.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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