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A crowd holds flags of President Vladimir Putin beside the words "We are together!" during a rally in Moscow shortly after Russia signed a treaty annexing Crimea on March 18, 2014.
A crowd holds flags of President Vladimir Putin beside the words "We are together!" during a rally in Moscow shortly after Russia signed a treaty annexing Crimea on March 18, 2014.
(JAMES HILL/NYT)

GEOFFREY YORK

Why Putin doesn’t need the West in the new world order

Even as Prime Minister Stephen Harper joins other Western leaders in issuing threats of tougher economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis, Moscow only has to look south and east for the economic support that will allow it to escape isolation.

A decade ago, Western sanctions might have been more worrisome to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But in today’s new world order, the rise of the BRICS bloc of developing nations has given him a useful counter-weight to Western pressure tactics.