SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The hard line position of Russian President Vladimir Putin reminds some of the intransience of the old Soviet Union. There is reason for some to think that, according to Peter Weisensel, Macalester College Professor of History.
Weisensel is an expert in Russian history and says Putin comes from the old style of Russian diplomacy.
"He is very much in the mindset that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the worst thing that could possibly have happened to his country," said Weisensel. "That explains why he is so adamant about Syria. Syria is the last, the last refuge of Soviet power in the Mediterranean world. Iraq is gone, Egypt is gone. Only Syria now remains. This is a remnant and a reminder of what the Soviet Union once was."
Weisensel said that is why Putin would call U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry "a liar" and demand "proof" and the agreement of the United Nations before the United States should attack Syria in any way.
Still, Weisensel said he does not think the tepid confrontation of Putin and President Obama will result in a new "Cold War."
"I don't think that's gonna go that far," said Weisensel. "I think there's a certain moderation that has occurred, a certain realization about the way the world is now and that he can't go back completely."
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