Russian President Vladimir Putin made headlines earlier today when he claimed that the situation with North Korea was escalating to a point where “large-scale conflict” was becoming a distinct possibility.
Putin, who is due to attend a summit of the BRICS nations in China next week, wrote in an article published on the Kremlin’s web site ahead of his trip that he favoured negotiations with North Korea instead.
“It is essential to resolve the region’s problems through direct dialogue involving all sides without advancing any preconditions (for such talks),” Putin wrote.
“Provocations, pressure, and bellicose and offensive rhetoric is the road to nowhere.”
The situation on the Korean Peninsula had deteriorated so much that it was now “balanced on the verge of a large-scale conflict,” said the Russian leader.
“In Russia’s opinion the calculation that it is possible to halt North Korea’s nuclear missile programmes exclusively by putting pressure on Pyongyang is erroneous and futile,” Putin wrote.
Why it’s on our radar: Putin is not one to talk about solving conflicts through “direct dialogue,” given his decision to invade Georgia in 2008, annex the Crimea in 2014, and then instigate civil war inside Ukraine. So his comments and observations should be taken in that context.
Like other leaders, Putin knows all too well the importance of advancing strategic objectives through whatever means will achieve them. His lecturing of the United States with ‘sage advice’ is just his latest effort to project leadership ahead of a summit next week in which he will attempt to bolster reliance on Russia.