Putin is playing a multi-faceted game that is apparently way beyond the game-playing capacity of either the European counties or the US. It is not, however, beyond the game-playing capacity of the Chinese. Russia and China are playing off each other and against the West. As Europe faces economic stagnation and a refugee tidal wave all the EU can think about is how products from the settlements in the West Bank should be labeled in European stores.
I thought it would be hard to find someone worse than the former EU foreign minister, but they managed it with the twit Mogherini. Who picked her and why? Metternich and Talleyrand must be turning over in their graves. At any rate, Putin engages in military display, on air, land and sea; intervenes in Middle Eastern affairs through weapons sales and support for Assad; plays with the Ayatollahs and thumbs his nose at the US. In the Pacific China rampages around the East and South China seas and just sent a fleet into Alaskan waters!