I think there’s a fine line that Russia can walk here and not upend everything but it’s truly threading the needle.
Putin is slated to speak at the Duma either today or tomorrow and the legislative body has passed a motion to recognize the breakaway regions. There’s tremendous pressure on Putin at home to do that, as they’re Russian speakers.
I don’t think these requests are anything new. They want Russia to recognize their independence and sign agreements on friendship and defense cooperation.
If Putin does that, does it really change the state of play? Russia’s ruble and equity markets are falling today so maybe it does but I don’t think Europe wants to harshly sanction Russia over something that’s already de-facto happening.