Baltic counterintelligence about Russia:
„They only respect force,“ says Jauniškis, „and if you answer theirs with your own, then you might even become friends.“ The principle is diametrically opposed to the suit-and-tie diplomacy and ordinary negotiations to which the West is accustomed.
„For Russia, both sides winning equals a loss,“ remarks an Estonian entrepreneur who has organized complex business transactions with Russians for decades. „They need for there to always be winners and losers, even when negotiating.“ And only they may come out on top.
„There, diplomacy is a sign of weakness,“ says Mežviets. „Russia only recognizes force. It’s hard for the West to understand, as Westerners hold different values and believe that others do as well.“
From „Human Life Has No Value There“: Baltic Counterintelligence Officers Speak Candidly About Russian Cruelty - Eesti Ekspress
IMHO, this asymmetry also applies to dealing with Western TFGs. Negotiations are only possible when both parties are honest actors