Remember the Munich Security Conference where Putin outlined his vision for multilateralism? And remember how Iran, for a brief moment, became cooperative about its nuclear program?
A prominent Russian reporter, Ivan Safronov, died on March 3 from falling out of a window in his apartment building. He was writing a story on the sale of weapons by Russia to Syria and Iran, some of which could reach Israel if fired.
So when Putin said at the Munich Security Conference that more could be accomplished by acting as a partner with Russia, there was weight behind what he said. After all, he is selling them important weapons. Of course they would listen to him.
The United States could take advantage of this situation, and not just complain about it, by working with Russia to keep Iran and Syria in check. But that would be a new idea, and Bush doesn't allow those.