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The Trollope Ploy Comes in Handy Again

    In the argument about post-Soviet Eurasia, both sides have backed down a little

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It attracted relatively little attention (though it was noted here and here) when it appeared on July 12, but Russian president Vladimir Putin’s 5,000-word essay “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians” initiated a promising development in efforts to wind down the sometimes dangerous confrontation that has bedeviled US-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War. A week later the US dropped its threat to block the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipelines from Russia to Germany.  The governments of Poland and Ukraine objected, as did a coalition of US Congressional Republicans and Democrats. The future of post-Soviet Eurasia seemed on the