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SA and others caught between Putin and the West will have to ...


SA and others caught between Putin and the West will have to pick a side

West’s leaders, once the summits and family photos are over, must get the rest of the world out of this no-man’s land

Andreas Kluth

One purpose of summitry in a time of war is the “family photo” — or rather, the harmonious and resolute unity it’s meant to showcase. So it was at last week’s summit of the EU in Brussels and at this week’s gathering of the Group of 7 in the Bavarian Alps, and so it’ll be again when Nato leaders meet in Madrid in the coming days. 

As with actual family photos, however, the real story is often about who stands where and with what body language. And sometimes it’s about who should be in the photo but isn’t. 

The show of unity was easiest to stage at the G7 summit. The group — representing rich democracies — is small and homogeneous, and the mountains made a suitably Brobdingnagian background. The photo signalled a strong and united front against Russian President Vladimir Putin — who partook in these symposia when they were still called G8, until he was excluded after his first attack on Ukraine in 2014...

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