Increasing tension over Nord Stream II puts the spotlight on a West that still lacks unity or a clear policy towards Russia. The divisions over the project are adding to bitterness within the EU and the transatlantic relationship, and benefiting Moscow.
Despite the obvious antagonism between Russia and the US, the two states can also cooperate, as the current deal over Syria indicates, especially when Moscow wishes to expand its available strategic options.
The deal to implement a ceasefire across Syria brokered by the US and Russia is a major development in the course of that country’s brutal conflict. It presents a faint glimmer of hope – the first in years – that an end may be in sight to what to date remains this century’s bloodiest conflict.