Russia’s Vladimir Putin won’t be on the guest list when President Barack Obama and other world leaders assemble in Germany next week, as part of the punishment for alleged Kremlin-supported aggression in Ukraine.
Yet the Russian president remains a central player in international affairs, including the U.S.-led nuclear talks with Iran, even with the pledge by Western leaders to try to isolate Putin while the crisis in Ukraine persists.
Just this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Moscow for talks with Putin and Secretary of State John Kerry went to Sochi to confer with him. Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke by telephone in recent days and agreed to resume talks aimed at ending Syria’s civil war, where Putin’s cooperation also is crucial.
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