Just a few months ago, Secretary of State John Kerry was praising “our Russian partners” for their role in making possible a second “Geneva peace conference” on Syria. Having spent more time with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov than with any other colleague, Kerry promoted the illusion that Russia and the United States were teaming up to resolve a number of issues, including the Syrian civil war and Iran’s nuclear ambitions. And then, all of a sudden, we had Russia flexing its muscle in Ukraine by breaking the sacrosanct rule under which European borders could not be changed by force. Lavrov and his boss, President Vladimir Putin, were violating not only the emblematic Helsinki accords of 1975 but also a set of treaties that guarantee Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity.
In other words, Russia had gone rogue.