What is Putin's assessment of the US accusation that Russia is tampering in its presidential election and, in retaliation, its cyber, economic and military threats aimed at Moscow? According to Putin, it is an attempt to distract voters. As for sanctions, the US and its allies can "screw themselves."
It is no secret that, at best, Russia and the United States are "competing" with one another. On the surface, the issues are Syria, oil, nuclear weapons, and superpower leadership in the Middle East. Who is winning? This Israeli perspective suggests an unlikely answer.
According to one assessment by Israeli intelligence, Russian President Vladamir Putin and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan are scrambling to take advantage of the power vacuum left in the Middle East by US President Barack Obama. As Moscow soldifies it superpower presence there, it is already carving up a portion of Syria for shared control with Ankara.
In China and behind closed doors, the world gave Putin the nod to partner with Turkey, not the US, for "charting the next steps in the Middle East."
At the G-20 economic summit in China, Obama and Putin met to discuss Syria. One President grimaced, the other smiled. Diplomatically, Russia continues to win; tragically, Syria continues to lose; and warily, Israel continues to adapt to a new superpower in the Middle East.