I’ve been focusing on the Nemtsov murder today, but I want to step back for a moment and look at a startling revelation that Russian MP Dmitry Gudkov made in the Financial Times article published on Friday.
Mr Gudkov claims that Alexei Kudrin, a widely respected former economic adviser to Mr Putin, has discussed with officials in western governments the idea that the Russian leader and some members of his closest circle could be offered retirement abroad with a promise to be left alone — an arrangement dismissed as impossible by western diplomats in Moscow.
I am honestly unsure what to make of Gudkov’s assertion. I know that Kudrin has been traveling quite a bit recently, and he was in the United States this past week. So the statement that contact has been made cannot be ruled out entirely.
That being said, isn’t Gudkov essentially saying that the West has told Russia’s opposition movement they are on their own, and won’t help them oust Putin? If that is so, it would go a long way in explaining why the West has been so slow in enacting sanctions and its seeming reluctance to seriously enforce them.
And on that note, it is still business as usual for Brussels with Russia:
But after Nemtsov’s murder, it is clear that a peaceful exit for Putin is not in the cards, even if he were willing to take it. When it does finally happen, the end of the Putin regime will be violent and the death throes bloody.