Christmas Approaches

We wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas as 2015 approaches. This year, when so very much has been upended and so many assumptions cast aside, we offer a special wish to our friends in Ukraine, where Moscow seems intent on dragging a reluctant people back into its embrace; and Azerbaijan, where Russia’s puppet Armenia seems to finally feel ready for a real, serious shooting war. The past twelve months have been hard, and there will be hard roads ahead; yet despite the constant fumbling in Brussels and Washington, there is, there will be, and there must be hope. The falling price of oil has not merely stimulated many Western economies, it has also done what Western sanctions and hand-wringing have not, and forced Vladimir Putin to scale back his ambitions. Where before many wondered whether the Russian machine could be stopped, now it is not clear that it survives into 2016.

Regardless of the reason, as this blessed season comes to a close, we wish you all the best.

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