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Why The Kremlin Is Quietly Satisfied With The NATO Summit Outcome

The prospect of Ukraine joining NATO has been postponed. Vladimir Putin will be pleased, knowing that Russia's best hope is for a long war.

Russian President Vladimir Putin participates in a videoconference meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Heads of State Council, from the Kremlin.

Putin is glad the U.S. and German position prevailed

Benjamin Quénelle


MOSCOW — Ahead of the recent NATO Summit in Vilnius, Moscow had warned the West that the Kremlin would be following this "anti-Russian" meeting "very closely." True to form, Russia responded with arms all week: Since Monday, its army has launched a series of nightly drone attacks on Kyiv.

The Ukrainian capital is less than 600 kilometers from Vilnius, Lithuania, a former Soviet Republic where NATO heads of state met Tuesday and Wednesday. On the military front, Russian troops claim to have broken through 1.5 kilometers deep in eastern Ukraine in recent days.

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When it comes to diplomacy, 17 months after launching the "special military operation" against its neighbor, the Kremlin can take heart from the summit's conclusions.

"At first sight, this is good news for [Russia]," says Andrei Kortounov of the Russian Council, a Russian think tank on international issues. "All options remain open, even if it doesn't make [Putin's] favorite solution, Ukrainian neutrality, any more realistic."

Existential threat

Back in February 2022, the head of the Kremlin explained that one of the aims of his offensive was to prevent Kyiv from joining NATO, which it perceived as an existential threat.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had come to Vilnius with the firm intention of obtaining a clear agreement for NATO membership, loudly denouncing the Alliance's "indecision", which, according to him, "encourages Russian terror". He left with the simple prospect of an invitation to join the organization.

Moscow is aiming for a long war

In the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin can therefore remain satisfied: Poland and other countries are in favor of Kyiv's early membership, but the U.S. and German position prevailed out of fear of escalating the conflict with Russia, which could lead to a possible direct involvement of the military alliance against Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, delivers remarks during an event with G7 leaders to announce a Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine during the NATO Summit .

"In the end, this summit confirms that Kyiv's NATO membership, which could have been considered before the conflict, has now been postponed indefinitely"

© Ukraine Presidency/Ukraine Presi/ZUMA Press Wire

A satisfying result for Moscow

"In the end, this summit confirms that Kyiv's NATO membership, which could have been considered before the conflict, has now been postponed indefinitely", says a senior European diplomat in Moscow. "Formally speaking, there will certainly be protests from the Russians. But in practice, for them, this summit was a non-event."

There was no immediate official comment from the Kremlin on Kyiv's non-membership of NATO. "The Vilnius summit only perpetuates the current situation," the source concludes. "It's a satisfying result for Moscow, which is aiming for a long war in Ukraine."

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How Parenthood Reinvented My Sex Life — Confessions Of A Swinging Mom

Between breastfeeding, playdates, postpartum fatigue, birthday fatigues and the countless other aspects of mother- and fatherhood, a Cuban couple tries to find new ways to explore something that is often lost in the middle of the parenting storm: sex.

red tinted photo of feet on a bed

Parenting v. intimacy, a delicate balance

Silvana Heredia

HAVANA — It was Summer, 2015. Nine months later, our daughter would be born. It wasn't planned, but I was sure I wouldn't end my first pregnancy. I was 22 years old, had a degree, my dream job and my own house — something unthinkable at that age in Cuba — plus a three-year relationship, and the summer heat.

I remember those months as the most fun, crazy and experimental of my pre-motherhood life. It was the time of my first kiss with a girl, and our first threesome.

Every weekend, we went to the Cuban art factory and ended up at the CornerCafé until 7:00 a.m. That September morning, we were very drunk, and in that second-floor room of my house, it was unbearably hot. The sex was otherworldly. A few days later, the symptoms began.

She arrived when and how she wished. That's how rebellious she is.

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