A better future is always possible. But it cannot not involve an impoverished Britain pleading for a cut of hydrocarbons from a regime which cares nothing for its own citizens, never mind ours.
It allows for criticism and negotiation provided the West stands together to call out abuses.
What he detests is less liberalism than democracy, and the obstacle it poses to Russian foreign policy objectives.
The UK could set a lead by announcing that it will dedicate a fixed or minimum percentage of the aid budget to fighting sexual and gender based violence.