By militarily invading and annexing Crimea, Russia has acted in breach of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. Yet the Kremlin seems unfazed that it is violating general principles of international law. This seems emblematic for the ‘can’t care less’ attitude of Putin’s Russia. Moscow allows itself to be inconsistent with its own commitments and is reneging on its own words. This has all the trappings of a panicking dictatorship, which crushes dissent at home and portrays confidence in winning a great battle with enemies abroad. How can anyone now trust what Putin’s Russia says or commits to in the future?
Steven Blockmans is Senior Research Fellow and head of the EU Foreign Policy unit at CEPS.