Military Review

From the Baltic to Southern Europe: Map of European Interests of Russia from Stratfor

Specialists of the brain trust “Stratfor” told the world about the interests of Russia and how far on the map of Europe these very interests extend. According to analysts, the Kremlin is “eyeing out” the “vulnerable” outskirts of Europe. Experts believe that the neighbors of the “great power” “covered the shadow” of Moscow.

In recent years, tensions between Russia and the West have increased, according to the website of the analytical company. "Stratfor". Moscow is increasingly using the methods of hybrid warfare to win and hold positions, competing for power and influence in the world, say the authors of the material.

The next report, Stratfor, explores the geopolitical context, goals and tools of the Russian strategy, as well as the steps taken by its rivals against Russia. "The shadow of a great power" covers its neighbors.

The peoples living on the outskirts of Europe (the Baltics, the Balkans, Central and Southern Europe) are “acutely aware” of a new reality, experts are convinced. States on the periphery of the continent are subject to the manipulations of Russia: the Kremlin seeks to exert pressure because of sanctions and an arms race and to sow internal discord in the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

At the same time, analysts note that the “Russian invasion” into the region is “impossible” or “unlikely”, since the states with which Russia would have to deal either belong to NATO (the Baltic countries) or are located “far enough” from Russia ( in the Balkans), or there is “both that and another” (Central and Southern Europe). However, war is “not the only tool in Moscow’s arsenal.” And "some types of hybrid warfare tactics, including political manipulations, punitive energy and economic measures, cyber attacks, disruptive propaganda and misinformation campaigns, pose a particular threat to countries located on the periphery of Europe."

1. Baltic: "Moscow methods" work.

The Baltic countries, according to experts of the brain trust, were “most vulnerable” to the “Moscow methods”. This is due, in particular, to numerous ethnic Russian communities, which account for 24% of the population of Estonia, 27% of the population of Latvia and 6% of the population of Lithuania. The political parties that serve these segments of society have achieved significant results in the parliamentary elections and thereby "provided Moscow with a certain level of influence on their governments in this process."

In addition, the Kremlin has resorted to other means of undermining local governments. One of such methods is, according to experts, “reducing energy exports”. For example, in 2006, Russia stopped oil supplies to Lithuania and set the “highest natural gas prices in Europe” for the Baltic states. “Eight years later, Moscow imposed restrictions on imports of agricultural products sent from the Baltic countries in response to the region’s support for EU sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukrainian conflict,” analysts remind.

Along with economic measures, the Kremlin waged an aggressive cyber-information war against the Baltic countries, the Stratfor asserts. In 2007, Russian hacktivists launched mass cyber attacks against banks, ministries and the Estonian parliament.

Expecting to discredit NATO, Moscow distributed a “fake report” on the rape by German soldiers stationed in Lithuania of teenage girls. At the same time, “Russian-speaking news website claimed that the military in Canada are staffed by homosexual soldiers and that such a contingent in Latvia cannot be trusted. ”

Writing such stories, analysts say, Russia "is trying to undermine the confidence of the Baltic peoples in the Western alliance."

2. Central and Southern Europe: Russians intend to split the continent in two.

Although in the countries of Central and Southern Europe there are no significant ethnic Russian communities that exist in the Baltic countries, their remoteness from Russia gives Moscow "more opportunities for political maneuver." The fact is that most of these countries "largely depend on the Russian energy industry and do not have territorial disputes with Russia, which suppresses any fears about the open invasion of the Kremlin forces". With the exception of Poland (bordering the Kaliningrad region) and Romania (which competes with Russia for influence in Moldova), the countries of Central and Southern Europe tend to adhere to a pragmatic position regarding relations with Moscow, according to Stratfor.

Moscow, however, is trying to use the pragmatic approach of these states to drive a wedge between EU members on a number of issues, including on the Union sanctions against Russia. The Kremlin used its promises to run the South Stream and 2 Nord Stream pipelines to demonstrate the fact that Russia "still has allies on the continent." In addition, Moscow is focusing on the support of "friendly governments" in Hungary, Greece and Italy, which even called for the lifting of sanctions against Russia. However, the Italian appeals disappeared in vain: the United States and Germany continue to put pressure on the EU states in order to preserve the “united front against Russia”.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin supports the interests of euro skeptics and far-right organizations in Central and Southern Europe. Here and "Five Stars" in Italy, and "Jobbik" in Hungary, and others. Moscow also "continues to launch cyber attacks" against "unfriendly governments." An example is the recent electronic attack by the Polish Foreign Ministry. In addition, there is Russian propaganda, accusing the United States of unleashing a Syrian civil war and a refugee crisis in Europe.

3. Balkans. Here the Russians are teasing with an appetizing carrot and beating it up with a stick. Traditional carrot and stick!

This region is the right place to widen the split of the West. Moscow applies a “more friendly approach” to some countries, providing “concessions, economic assistance and energy discounts.” For example, all this applies to Serbia. Moscow even established closer military cooperation with Belgrade, supplying weapon and creating a joint "humanitarian center", which many consider to be an "outpost for Russian spies". The Kremlin plans to build a similar center in Bosnia and the Republika Srpska, analysts report.

With Montenegro, the Russian did not work. Before it completed its entry into NATO, Russia was reportedly "planning and supporting an attempted coup d'état," intending to overthrow the government in Podgorica.

* * *

Through the entire regular report of the brain trust, the thesis about the impossibility of war with Russia is a common thread: “Russian invasion” into any European country on the periphery is either “impossible” or “unlikely.” The basis of such an expert opinion is the opposition of Russia to a powerful NATO bloc, which supposedly holds back the Kremlin’s inclinations. The second reason for the reluctance of the Russians to start a war is the alleged remoteness of other countries experiencing "Kremlin influence" from the Russian borders.

None of the analysts came up with another thesis: the Russians are not going to fight with anyone in Europe. The threat of "invasion" is concentrated exclusively in the Brussels brains.

Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for
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  1. andj61
    andj61 21 August 2017 15: 41
    Expecting to discredit NATO, Moscow issued a “fake report” on the rape of teenage girls by German soldiers stationed in Lithuania. At the same time, “the Russian-language news site claimed that the military in Canada is staffed with homosexual soldiers and that such a contingent in Latvia cannot be trusted.”
    Writing such stories, analysts assure, Russia "is trying to undermine the confidence of the Baltic peoples in the Western alliance."

    Regarding a teenage girl in Lithuania - he scored a Google search, gave out three real sources - the article itself is on topvar, and two more that do not open, despite the use of friGate. That is, the sources are either leftist or already closed. Most likely - one and the other. To give out publications of the Russian-language site as Moscow’s machinations is generally beyond understanding. What does this have to do with Russia? Although the phrase given in the article by Google was not found at all, except for this article itself on topvar. In my opinion, it's not worth putting it all up for discussion.
    None of the analysts came up with another thesis: the Russians are not going to fight with anyone in Europe. The threat of "invasion" is concentrated exclusively in the Brussels brains.

    This is evidenced by the size and structure of the Russian army. Having long borders and a vast territory, as well as an army of 1 million people, one does not have to think about an attack - this will not be enough for defense (if nuclear weapons are not counted)! hi
  2. antivirus
    antivirus 21 August 2017 15: 54
    Along with economic measures, the Kremlin waged an aggressive cyber information war against the Baltic countries
    The Kremlin is weak and still afraid of it.
    What will happen to Europe with a real evil "bear"?
  3. Basil50
    Basil50 21 August 2017 16: 02
    The author is trying to fetch from the stream at least something similar to fact or logic. Useless.
    NATO was created as a military bloc of attack on the SOVIET UNION and they will lie about danger and defense and about anything. There is no responsibility. No.
    1. To be or not to be
      To be or not to be 21 August 2017 16: 14
      What is the logic ?? "ten draw in half an hour .. - you can’t tell from the real one!
  4. Boris55
    Boris55 21 August 2017 16: 22
    Quote: Oleg Chuvakin
    None of the analysts came up with another thesis: the Russians are not going to fight with anyone in Europe. The threat of "invasion" is concentrated exclusively in the Brussels brains.

    Not a single Western analyst can answer the question, but why do we need it? Their brains are even afraid to think in this direction. Otherwise, everyone will understand how wrong they are ... The purpose of any war is to seize the resources of the other side. In the West there is nothing that we don’t have, for which we would be ready to shed blood ...
  5. izya top
    izya top 21 August 2017 17: 33
    The neighbors of the "great power", experts believe, "covered the shadow" of Moscow.

  6. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 21 August 2017 17: 34
    The neighbors of the "great power", experts believe, "covered the shadow" of Moscow.
    I wonder whose shadow has covered the neighbors of Poland, the neighbors of the United States, the neighbors of China, the neighbors of Turkey?
    No need to tryndet, gentlemen. Everyone has interests.
  7. vlad007
    vlad007 21 August 2017 18: 36
    "Russian threat" is needed first of all to arms manufacturers - we need to sell weapons! For example, the TriBaltics are introducing UNPOSED (!!!) weapons under this topic, and for considerable amounts - I read about the contract for 280 million greens. Modern politics is a pure business in the interests of those who are stronger. Nothing personal - just business.