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Russia Module – Backlines

Soft Power key; More Russian Aggression Coming

Restoring US image is key – absent that, Putin will be emboldened and more Ukraine-style conflicts will emerge.

Mead ‘14

Walter Russell Mead is James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College and Editor-at-Large of The American Interest magazine. Until 2010, Mead was the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations – “Playing Putin’s Game” – The American Interest – April 15th –

Victories like those Putin has notched up in Ukraine will awaken rather than slake his ambition. He needs triumphs abroad to vindicate and justify his rule and his repression at home, and foreign policy victories are like cocaine when it comes to their impact on public opinion: the buzz of each hit soon wears off, leaving only the craving for another and larger dose. Putin has grown and will grow hungrier and more reckless with each gain notched, each victory achieved. His contempt for the moral and political decadence of the West will be confirmed, his ideas of what he can attempt will grow more audacious, and his power to advance his agenda will grow as weakness and concession undermine our alliances and tilt the political balance in a growing number of states to lean his way. And other leaders around the world will have observed that the world order so laboriously erected on the ruins of World War Two by the United States and its allies is a hollow façade.

Russia’s imperial agenda relies on softer power – it’s the key to Putin’s expansionist agenda.

Bugajski ’14

Janusz Bugajski is senior associate in the Europe Program at CSIS. He has served as a consultant for various U.S. organizations and government agencies and testifies regularly before the U.S. Congress. He chairs the South-Central Europe area studies program at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award granted jointly by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. “Confronting the Putin Doctrine” – The Hungarian Review – Volume V., No. 3. – May 14th, 2014

When Vladimir Putin returned to Russia’s Presidency in May 2012, the Kremlin began to intensify its pressure on the former Soviet republics to participate in its integrationist projects. Ukraine became the keyprize in Kremlin plans to recombine the former Soviet republics in a Moscow-centred dominion styled as the “Eurasia Union”. With control over Ukraine, Moscow could project its influence into Central Europe; without Ukraine, the planned Eurasian bloc would become a largely Asian construct. Putin also calculated that the potential loss of Ukraine, through its assimilation into Western institutions, would not only challenge the viability of Russia’s empire building but also the survival of the Putinist system and of the Russian Federation itself. Russia’s neo-imperial project no longer relies on Soviet-era instruments such as ideological allegiance, military force, or proxy governments. Instead, the primary goal is to exert predominant influence over the foreign and security policies of immediate neighbours so they will support Russia’s integrationist agenda. It is also important to distinguish between Russia’s national interests and its state ambitions. Moscow’s security is not challenged by the NATO accession of neighbouring states. However, its ability to control the security and foreign policy orientation of these countries is challenged if its neighbours are under NATO’s security umbrella. While its goals are imperial, the Kremlin’s strategies are pragmatic and flexible; they have included enticements, threats, incentives and pressures. By claiming it is pursuing “pragmatic” national interests, the Kremlin engages in asymmetrical offensives by interfering in neighbours’ affairs, capturing important sectors of local economies, subverting vulnerable political systems, corrupting national leaders, penetrating key security institutions and undermining national unity.

A-to “Ukraine proves no US-Russia escalation”

( ) Ukraine doesn’t prove the advantage false. More Ukraine-like fights are coming and Western resolve to escalate is growing.

Engelhart ‘14

Katie Engelhart is a London-based writer and reporter. She covers European goings-on for Maclean's. “Eastern Promises” – Foreign Policy – March 6th –

The frontier of this perceived destiny does not end at Ukraine, where Russia is now flexing its muscles in the name of nationalism. Rather, it veers south. While Russia and Ukraine face off in Crimea, foreign eyes are already migrating toward Moldova and Georgia -- the two countries that initialed association agreements with the European Union in November, at the same time that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign his own such document and turned his back on Europe. Both Moldova and Georgia, like Ukraine, emerged from the rubble of the Soviet sphere. Both countries, like Ukraine, have made advances in recent years toward the EU. Both, like Ukraine, have born the brunt of varied Russian aggressions, from trade sanctions to military interventions. And both countries, like Ukraine, have much to lose if Putin's dreams of a Moscow-dominated "Eurasian Union" to counter the EU are realized. (He has said he plans to unveil the union in 2015.) But, unlike Ukraine, might Moldova and Georgia come out of the current crisis as geopolitical winners? "It's a good point," says John Herbst, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. "It's possible that as a result of this crisis... Europe and the United States will wind up taking firm steps against Russia that would make them more favorably disposed to helping Georgians and Moldovans [with] their Russia problem." Indeed, Russia's invasion of Crimea has revealed the extent to which Putin will physically pursue his revanchist claims. By extension, the invasion has inspired renewed American and European commitments to other former Soviet states. Take the case of Georgia: In the last year of George W. Bush's presidency, Herbst explains, EU leaders like Germany and France acted skittish about extending the EU and NATO's reach to Tbilisi. "Not because Georgia wasn't ready, though some made that argument," Herbst says, "but more because they didn't want to upset the Kremlin." That rationale "would probably be weaker as a result of what is happening with Ukraine." The Kremlin is already plenty upset, so bringing Georgia more closely into the fold of Western institutions could now be more likely. Already, it is clear that Western leaders are paying close attention to Chisinau and Tbilisi. It was all smiles on Monday in Washington, for instance, when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca. Before a throng of reporters, Kerry gushed that he was "very, very excited" about Leanca's leadership abilities -- and lamented "that Russia... has put pressure on Moldova." At the same time, Kerry announced that Washington would boost aid funding to Moldova: from $4.7 million to $7.5 million. The high-level meeting was one of many that have taken place between with Moldovan and Georgian officials since the Ukraine crisis began in late 2013. Leaders from both countries were recently invited to Washington. And at a meeting last month, EU foreign ministers discussed various means of increasing contact with the two states. A "restricted distribution" paper, written by Sweden and signed by a dozen other countries in the lead-up to the February meeting, outlined plans for a p.r. offensive in the former Soviet sphere, "to respond to disinformation" and educate citizens about the benefits of trade with Europe. (The EU predicts that Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, which would open the union's trade borders to both countries, could boost Georgia's GDP by 4.3 percent and Moldova's by 5.4 percent.) At the same time, European leaders have pushed to accelerate Moldova and Georgia's European integration process. Last December, the two countries were put on fast track to EU association. (Association agreements set up broad frameworks for cooperation -- political, economic, and social -- between the EU and third parties, and they may or may not be used as a basis for later EU accession.)Events in Ukraine, the European Council president noted at the time, reveals "a yearning for a better future [that] is shared also by the people of Georgia and of Moldova." Later, in February, the European Parliament voted to lift visa requirements for Moldova. Around that time, calls mounted for NATO to open its arms to Georgia. Moldova and Georgia have long asked for help from Europe and the United States. And in welcoming recent developments, the countries' leaders have also asked for more of the same. On Feb. 25, for example, Georgia's prime minister asked Europe to formulate "a master plan for the Europeanization of our country." And to be sure, both countries need help -- economically dependent as they are on Russia. Moldova in particular relies almost entirely on Russian gas. (Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin eagerly reminded Chisinau of this last fall, as winter approached. "We hope," Rogozin told Moldovan officials, "that you will not freeze.") Russia is also an important market for Moldovan and Georgian goods. Last August, Russia proved that it is willing to use this reality against its small neighbors when it suddenly banned Moldovan wine (a key export), citing health and sanitation violations. But the geopolitical threat that both countries face looms even larger than the economic one. Moldova and Georgia each possess their own Crimeas: autonomous, breakaway regions with sizeable ethnic Russian populations (Transnistria in Ukraine and South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia). In light of events in Ukraine, some speculate that Moscow will move to consolidate its hold on these territories too -- or at least stoke ethnic tension inside the regions, thus laying the ground for a "protective" Russian intervention. Only six years ago, Georgia and Russia fought a short war over South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which ended effectively in a political stalemate. (Russia recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia's independence; Georgia does not.) In the face of these looming challenges, there are demands for American and European leaders to help Moldova and Georgia correct their trade imbalances with Russia while also thawing the frozen conflicts in their disputed states. There has been some movement on the trade front: Last month, EU foreign ministers discussed a plan to "assist partner countries to improve energy efficiency and to reduce dependency." But on the breakaway regions, little has changed in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria for many years. Importantly, one subject remains off the table everywhere: the expansion of the EU to admit Moldova and Georgia as full members. "In a way, with the Crimea intervention, it becomes a lot more complicated," says Michael Cecire, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a member of the Georgian Institute of Politics. "There is a method to Putin's moves," Stephen Hadley and Damon Wilson of the Atlantic Council wrote in a recent op-ed. "The territorial disputes his actions create give Europeans pause in considering further integration of those countries into the European Union, NATO, and other Western institutions." Russian maneuvering, in other words, makes the domestic political scene within the ex-Soviet states messy, and Western institutions don't want instability in their own houses, nor do they want to risk getting dragged into military tangles. All this, in turn, helps Putin pressure states into joining his rival Eurasian Union. Of course, Moldova and Georgia aren't the only countries in the region that are on edge. In recent months, observers in Estonia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Lithuania have also expressed fear of an expanding Russian reach. In some cases, they have drawn parallels (however tenuous) to their own Russian invasions of decades past: the Baltics in the 1940s, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968. But while it might be tough for Russia to wreak havoc in these countries (all of them already in the EU), in Transnistria, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia, it wouldn't take much for Moscow to cause trouble. In January, Russia suddenly expanded its Olympic security zone into Abkhazia, leading the Georgian government to express "deep concern." Meanwhile, Transnistria's sizeable Communist Party has turned against further integration with Europe. And Russian troops remain in all three regions. At any time, argues Herbst, pro-Russian leaders within these territories might call for Moscow's "assistance." Such a possibility brings to mind the words of Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who reportedly once observed, "Russia has never actually invaded Poland -- instead it always ‘came to help.'" The extent to which Europe and the United States will embrace Georgia and Moldova is not yet clear. Already, there are some signs of wavering after an initial burst of commitments: EU leaders like Germany, for one, remain cagey on the issue of whether or not to firmly sanction Russia for its actions in Crimea. Meanwhile, on Thursday, Crimean parliamentarians approved a resolution "to enter into the Russian Federation." And Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev has said that Moscow would make it easier for people living in the former Soviet Union to obtain Russian citizenship. But much still rides on how Western leaders respond to developments in the coming days and weeks. And regardless of whether they emerge from the Ukraine crisis as geopolitical winners or losers, Moldova and Georgia are emblematic of intensifying, Iron Curtain-esque jostling over the fate of the former Soviet Union -- an East-West contest that seems unlikely to end anytime soon.

( ) Ukraine revised Western doctrine toward Russia – escalation risks are high

Apps – June 3rd

2014 –Peter Apps is political risk correspondent for Reuter’s for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a range of stories on the interplay between politics, economics and markets. – “ West ponders how to stop - or fight - a new Great War” – Reuter’s – June 3rd, 2014 –

In Europe, in contrast, NATO has little developed thinking beyond its post-Crimea strategy of putting small numbers of U.S. troops and jets on the frontline in eastern member states they fear Moscow might target next. Until Ukraine, European states had viewed their primary military focus as occasional intervention, peacekeeping and counterinsurgency in the Middle East and Africa. "We are in uncharted territory," said one senior Western official who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It means ... reconstituting high end fighting skills and properly thought through doctrine for both conventional and nuclear deterrence."

A-to Economic Interdependence Checks

( ) Miscalculation means economics won’t check. US and NATO also more willing to escalate with Russia

Apps – June 3rd

2014 – Internally quoting Nikolas Gvosdev, professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College.. Peter Apps is political risk correspondent for Reuter’s for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a range of stories on the interplay between politics, economics and markets. – “ West ponders how to stop - or fight - a new Great War” – Reuter’s – June 3rd, 2014 –

Although the Cold War rivalry with Moscow has never been forgotten, current and former Western officials say Russia's annexation of Crimea has NATO powers tearing up strategic assumptions and grimly considering both conventional and nuclear fights. As late as March, most NATO powers - with the exception of eastern members such as the Baltic States long worried by Moscow - had assumed Europe itself faced no imminent military threat. It is still the case that few believe Russia would attack any NATO state, but, in order to deter, Western officials say they must consider and plan for the contingency. The threat to U.S. allies in the Pacific from a stronger China has also focused military minds on how to contain the risks there, and ensure any localised conflict does not spill over into global war. In a major foreign policy speech at the West Point military academy last month, President Barack Obama spoke mostly on counterterrorism and the Afghanistan withdrawal. But while he said the risk from other nations was now much lower than before the Berlin Wall fell, he made clear it still existed. "Regional aggression that goes unchecked, whether in southern Ukraine or the South China Sea or anywhere else in the world, will ultimately impact our allies and could draw in our military," he told graduating cadets. Tensions with Moscow and Beijing have increased faster than almost anyone in government in Washington expected. They are expected to dominate a meeting between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day later this week. Last weekend's annual Shangri-La Dialogue strategic conference in Singapore, meanwhile, showcased the growing gulf between Washington and Beijing on issues from regional maritime disputes to cyber security. In recent weeks, current and former officials say, the Obama administration has been insistently reassuring allies and signalling foes where Washington's true red lines are. Washington might not be prepared to act militarily in Ukraine but an attack on a NATO state such as one of the Baltics or a formal Asian ally like Japan, the Philippines or Australia would commit it irrevocably to war. Those treaty obligations are not new, but U.S. officials say it is important to make clear that they are taken extremely seriously. They hope that will reduce the risk of an accidental war where a state takes action wrongly assuming other powers will not respond. "It's not that the leadership in Russia or China is looking for a war - and the United States certainly isn't," says Kathleen Hicks, a U.S. undersecretary for defence until last July who now works for the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "The real worry is miscalculation." GREAT WAR One hundred years after the start of World War One, books on the period have become increasingly popular in Washington, Whitehall and NATO headquarters in Brussels, current and former officials say, and not purely for their historical interest. In June 1914, the killing of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a Serb nationalist triggered actions and alliances that brought war in barely a month. Now, experts say flashpoints could range from a clash over disputed South China Sea islands or ethnic strife in Russia's former Soviet neighbours to a wrongly attributed cyber attack. Even as Washington reassures allies, Moscow and Beijing have asserted their might against Ukraine and Vietnam which lack such formal alliances. The risk, experts say, is that they become overconfident and misjudge. "The parallels with 1914 can definitely be overstated," said Nikolas Gvosdev, professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College. "But they do show us that war can start through unintended consequences and an economically interdependent world does not necessarily stop it from happening." As in 1914, no one really knows what a modern great war would be like. While much military thinking assumes conflict would remain conventional, nuclear powers have kept their atomic war planning up to date, maintaining target lists for mutually assured destruction, current and former officials say.

A-to “US-Russia war won’t escalate”

US-Russia conflicts could easily escalate – Launch on Warning and Russian over-reliance on nuclear options

Granville ‘14

Dr. Johanna Granville is the Panitza Visiting Professor of Communist Studies at the American University of Bulgaria and the author of The First Domino: International Decision Making in the 1956 Hungarian Crisis and over forty refereed scholarly articles. She has conducted extensive archival research throughout Ukraine and resided since 2012 in the Hungarian-speaking town of Berehove (Beregszász) in the Transcarpathian region of western Ukraine. “The Folly of Playing High-Stakes Poker with Putin: More to Lose than Gain over Ukraine” – This policy paper was written on April 21, 2014. Available at:

Analysts often point out the Russian Federation’s weaknesses: a consistently declining birth rate, widespread corruption, an export economy dependent on high energy prices, military technology inferior to the West’s, and growing competition from China and South Korea.19 Nevertheless, the U.S. and NATO’s military escalation is provocative and unwise, given Russia’s status as a nuclear power with first strike capability. The Russian military has extensive countermeasures planned in the event of a decapitation strike by the United States or another nuclear power. Both the United States and Russia have abandoned policies of strict no first use, thereby making any escalation of a confrontation even more dangerous.20 Both countries have "launch on warning" systems that send off rockets before it is confirmed a nuclear attack is underway.21 In the midst of tensions over Ukraine, Russian commanders' early warning systems could falsely detect evidence of an attack and retaliate reflexively. NATO’s options are constrained by Russia’s concept of “de-escalation,” articulated in 2000 and influenced by the conflict in Kosovo. It stipulates that if Russia were faced with a large-scale conventional attack that exceeded its capacity for defense, it might respond with a limited nuclear strike.22 Such factors should be a major incentive for the United States to exercise great caution and not casually provoke Moscow.

A-to “Miscalc/Accidental War Unlikely”

( ) Standard checks on miscalc have eroded.

Apps – June 3rd

2014 –Peter Apps is political risk correspondent for Reuter’s for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, covering a range of stories on the interplay between politics, economics and markets. – “ West ponders how to stop - or fight - a new Great War” – Reuter’s – June 3rd, 2014 –

Meanwhile, some of the systems supposed to prevent conflict may be starting to weaken. U.S. officials had embarked on a campaign to build formal and informal communications channels with Beijing, mimicking the hotlines and procedures set up with Russia. Moscow and Washington have used those systems themselves in recent months to notify each other of missile tests and reconnaissance flights over each other's territory. Links with Russia, however, have weakened this year as NATO states cancelled conferences and military exchanges with Moscow in protest at the annexation of Crimea. Contacts with China have also deteriorated in the last month, particularly since Washington indicted five Chinese officials for cyber espionage, a charge Beijing denies. A near collision between U.S. and Chinese warships in January, a mock Russian attack on a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea in April and periodic confrontations between long-range bombers and other aircraft show the risks, experts warn.

( ) Hotline convos with Russia have not gone well.

Lubold ‘14

Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. Before arriving at Foreign Policy Magazine, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor – “Hagel's Hotline to the Kremlin” – Passport – a website run by Foreign Policy Magazine – APRIL 29, 2014 –

Since Hagel arrived at the Pentagon, it has fallen to him to keep the lines of communication open with a number of countries. He has talked to his counterpart in Israel, Moshe Ya'alon, numerous times and aides have said the two have connected on a personal level. But Hagel's attempts to leverage his relationships with countries like Russia have been far less successful.
(Note: Hagel = US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel)

( ) miscalc and accidental war are likely

Hewitt ‘14

Gavin – BCC News Editor for European Affairs – “Ukraine: How will the West respond?” – BBC News Europe – March 2nd –

Just seven days earlier some had dared to speak of "victory"; now the talk is of war. Speaking of Russia's actions in Crimea, the new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said "this is the red alert, this is not a threat, this is actually a declaration of war". All weekend the drumbeat of alarm has grown stronger; the biggest confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War. The secretary general of Nato says "peace and security in Europe" is threatened. The biggest fear is of an accidental war. A miscalculation at a road block or outside a military post could rapidly escalate into conflict. It will be much longer and much bloodier than the five-day war I covered in Georgia in 2008.

A-to “Eurasian Union = just economic, not a risk”

Eurasian Union not just economic – goals are clearly more aggressive.

Hauslohner ‘14

Internally quoting Alexey Malashenko, an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment’s Moscow Center. Abigail Hauslohner is The Washington Post's Cairo bureau chief. She also reports from Moscow – “Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus form Eurasian Economic Union” – Washington Post – May 29 –

But the idea of a Eurasian union has become particularly attractive to the Kremlin in recent months, as the crisis in Ukraine has sent U.S.-Russian relations tumbling to their lowest point since the Cold War. Western powers have leveled sanctions against key Russian figures linked to the country’s annexation of Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region two months ago, and broader sanctions may be on the way. In March, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton accused Putin of seeking to revive the Soviet Union, which collapsed in 1991. The Soviet Union included Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine and 11 other states, most of which remain under Russia’s powerful influence. Putin has denied any intention to annex former Soviet republics, even though Moscow has supported pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and other former Soviet lands. And Putin said Thursday that other countries were already scrambling to join the Eurasian Union. The participants discussed Armenia’s potential membership during their meeting. But it was unclear which other countries Putin thinks will join. It also remained unclear whether the union would constitute an economic arrangement or something more political, Malashenko said. The crisis in Ukraine has made it “clear” that the Eurasian union is largely “a tool for Russia to realize its political goals,” he said. And for other would-be members, the sanctions have cast a pall over the entire union. Still, inside Russia, many people are frustrated with what they see as domineering U.S. foreign policy and economic might, and they are angry at Russia’s flagging economy and endemic corruption. The combination makes the idea of a Russian revival, commanding new attention on the world stage, increasingly popular. And, thus, so is the concept underpinning the Eurasian Economic Union. Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet Union the greatest tragedy in Russian history, and many Russians echo that rhetoric. Inspired in part by mostly pro-Kremlin local media, Russians say they see value in the kind of strength and intimidating presence embodied by the Soviet Union, and they express support for Putin’s efforts to demonstrate that strength abroad.

Russian expansionism would cause escalation or miscalculation – several flashpoints exist.

Bugajski ’14

Janusz Bugajski is senior associate in the Europe Program at CSIS. He has served as a consultant for various U.S. organizations and government agencies and testifies regularly before the U.S. Congress. He chairs the South-Central Europe area studies program at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award granted jointly by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. “Confronting the Putin Doctrine” – The Hungarian Review – Volume V., No. 3. – May 14th, 2014

In pursuit of a dominant “pole of power” position in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Moscow is prepared to redraw international and internal borders throughout the post-Soviet zone. The de facto annexation of Crimea and the planned division of Ukraine is a logical step after Russia’s forced partition of Georgia in August 2008 and the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states; a move that brought about no punishing international consequences. Putin’s moves into Ukraine and the muted international response sent shockwaves throughout the broader neighbourhood. States from the Baltic Sea to the South Caucasus and Central Asia now feel under more direct threat of destabilisation, dissection, and of being drawn involuntarily into Russia’s imperial designs. There are four kinds of flashpoints around Russia’s borders and each danger would threaten regional escalation. First is the looming flashpoint in the Moscow- sponsored separatist enclave of Transnistria in eastern Moldova. Emboldened by success in Crimea, Putin may push for a referendum on federalisation, independence, or even outright annexation of a region controlled by a corrupt pro-Kremlin regime. The aim would be to squash Moldova’s moves toward EU association by destabilising the state and undermining its government. Concurrently with targeting Moldova, Moscow may forcefully establish an autonomous entity along Ukraine’s Black Sea coast between Odessa and Crimea. This would create a direct territorial link between Crimea and Transnistria under Moscow’s control. It would also surround Ukraine on three sides and could further destabilise the pro-Western government in Kiev. It would also provide Moscow with control over the entire northern coast of the Black Sea. The second danger in Europe’s East is the ticking flashpoints involving states with sizeable Russified populations, especially Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, that Moscow has tried to subvert in the past. Putin may decide on more direct and forceful measures to allegedly defend not only Russian ethnics but also “Russian- speaking” populations that were settled in the three republics during the post- World War II Soviet occupation. The fact that these are NATO members may perversely prove attractive to Putin, as he could test Alliance unity and resolve in defending their political stability and territorial integrity, especially if the response to the Ukraine situation is tepid. Even without direct attempts at territorial partition and annexation of Baltic territory, the Kremlin could pursue various destabilising measures through energy and trade embargoes, cyber attacks, inter- ethnic conflicts, or by staging sabotage or terrorist attacks on Baltic territory. The third danger is defensive flashpoints, among a string of states whose security would be threatened by Moscow’s ambitions. In particular, Poland could become embroiled militarily to protect its eastern borders and defend the besieged Ukrainian state, as well as its own co-ethnics in Ukraine. A Russian military invasion, occupation and partition of mainland Ukraine would spark armed resistance and insurgency against Russian forces. Insurgent leaders may then appeal to Poland for military assistance. If Kiev itself were bombed or captured, the Ukrainian government would likely seek refuge in Poland and draw Warsaw more directly into a confrontation with Moscow. Likewise, Romania may actively defend Moldova from outright partition if Chisinau appeals for outside assistance. Meanwhile, the rest of Central Europe would be exposed to a host of instabilities, from energy cut-offs and trade disruptions to refugee outflows and military spill-overs. The South Caucasus states of Georgia and Azerbaijan are also fearful of Russia’s military aggression and its support of territorial claims by an assortment of ethnic minorities inside their territories. Georgia, for instance, could be split in two by a Russian military offensive intended to create a direct land bridge with Moscow’s ally Armenia and to sever energy pipelines between Azerbaijan and Turkey that undermine Russia’s monopolist ambitions. The fourth series of threats in the post-Soviet region are potential flashpoints in countries currently allied with Moscow but hosting large Russian minorities. Belarus and Kazakhstan are the two most vulnerable states, where Russian nationalists claim territory or see unification with Russia as the optimum solution. Neither government is enthusiastic about Moscow’s annexation of Ukrainian territory for fear that it will set a precedent for their potential fracture. Nonetheless, the Kremlin may call upon them to provide “brotherly assistance” to a Greater Russia, possibly within the framework of the Moscow-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) or threaten political repercussions. In the most far-reaching scenario if state integrity comes under increasing question, they may break with Russia and appeal for international protection. COMBATTING PUTINISM In his drive to expand Russia’s territorial possessions, President Vladimir Putin is sure to miscalculate. Dictators often think they are invincible when they achieve early triumphs, as with Moscow’s stealthy annexation of Crimea. An overstretched Russia, facing growing economic problems cannot withstand a prolonged conflict with the West or with itself. To ensure Moscow’s retreat rather than a temporary pause in its imperial expansion, Western strategy must be based on three interconnected approaches: international isolation, imperial indigestion and regime destabilisation.

A-to “Eurasian Union won’t be effective”

( ) Our scenario holds even if the Eurasian Union fails over the long-term – the more it gets off the ground, the larger the risk.

Bugajski ’14

Janusz Bugajski is senior associate in the Europe Program at CSIS. He has served as a consultant for various U.S. organizations and government agencies and testifies regularly before the U.S. Congress. He chairs the South-Central Europe area studies program at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Award granted jointly by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. “Confronting the Putin Doctrine” – The Hungarian Review – Volume V., No. 3. – May 14th, 2014

Although Putin’s ambitions to create a multinational Eurasia Union are unlikely to fully succeed, given Russia’s escalating economic problems and the resistance of neighbouring states, attempts to create such a bloc could destabilise a broad region in Europe’s East. Indeed, we are witnessing the repercussions of Moscow’s empire building in Ukraine. Moscow is fearful lest the former Soviet territories drift permanently into either the Western or Chinese “spheres of influence”. Putin’s Eurasian alliance is supposed to develop into a major “pole of power” to balance the EU and NATO in the west and China in the east. Economic linkages are supposed to reinforce political and security connections, making it less likely that Russia’s neighbours can join alternative blocs. To achieve its ambitions, Moscow needs to assemble around itself a cluster of states that are loyal or subservient to Russian foreign policy and security interests. Unlike the EU and NATO, where states voluntarily pool their sovereignty, in Moscow’s Union, countries are expected to surrender their sovereignty in an international version of “democratic centralism”. Putin has been encouraged in this endeavour by several developments over the past few years.

On Brink now – Eurasian Union forming now

On Brink now – Eurasian Union is tentatively starting and already causing security tensions.

Hauslohner ‘14

Abigail Hauslohner is The Washington Post's Cairo bureau chief. She also reports from Moscow – “Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus form Eurasian Economic Union” – Washington Post – May 29 –

Russian President Vladimir Putin moved Thursday to further bolster his nation’s ties to former Soviet republics, as Russia’s relationships with the United States and Europe continue to fray over the conflict in Ukraine. Putin met Thursday with his counterparts from Kazakhstan and Belarus in the Kazakh capital, Astana, to initiate the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union. Putin has long sought to form the bloc in hopes that it would provide an Eastern counterweight to economic and political powerhouses such as the European Union and the United States. The new codes of the union, scheduled for launch on Jan. 1, will give the citizens of member states equal employment and education opportunities across all three nations. The three presidents also said Thursday that the deal would involve collaborative policies on key sectors, including energy, technology, industry, agriculture and transport. “A new geoeconomic reality of the 21st century is being born today,” said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency. The deal, 20 years in the making, was “a hard-won achievement,” he said, and “a blessing for our people.” “It’s your success, if not to say triumph,” Putin told Nazarbayev, according to Interfax. Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev told reporters in Astana that the three countries had not yet discussed the possibility of instituting a single currency, Interfax said. Meanwhile, Russia’s regional moves continue to spur anxiety. Poland’s ambassador to the United States, Ryszard Schnepf, told reporters in Washington on Thursday that his country is looking for a clear commitment of support from President Obama during his visit next week. Schnepf said Poland would welcome a greater U.S. military presence in the region as a check against potential Russian aggression. He said Europe and the United States “need to take the steps to prevent the future possible aggressions.”

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