Cold Peace: Russia's New Imperialism

Cold Peace: Russia's New Imperialism

Cold Peace: Russia's New Imperialism

Cold Peace: Russia's New Imperialism

Synopsis

The Russian regime under President Vladimir Putin has embarked on a coherent long-term strategy to regain its influence over former satellites and to limit Western penetration in key parts of this region. Moscow is intent on steadily rebuilding Russia as a major power on the Eurasian stage and will use its neighbors as a springboard for expanding its dominance. In this first systematic analysis detailing Russia's post-Cold War imperialism, Bugajski challenges the contemporary equivalent of Cold War appeasement, which views Russia as a benign and pragmatic power that seeks cooperation and integration with the West.

Excerpt

From Moscow's perspective, four major subzones can be distinguished in the eastern half of Europe: the European cis, the Baltic region, Central Europe, and Southeast Europe. the European cis (Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova) is as an important arena for regaining a broad sphere of Russian dominance and projecting Russia's rising international power toward Central and Western Europe. the reintegration of the “post-Soviet space” became a priority under Putin, as it would elevate Russia's contention that it was an important global player and a stabilizing factor in “Eurasia.” Moscow opposes any significant foreign military presence in the region and seeks to dissuade its cis neighbors from inviting U.S. forces or petitioning for nato entry.

The Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) are a vital buffer against Western encroachment on the former Soviet territories. the Kremlin has therefore sought to promote weak, isolated, and subservient Baltic neighbors, either devoid of close ties with Western security structures or maintained as small and irrelevant players by the Atlantic Allies and considered to be on NATO's periphery.

The Central Europeans (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic) are viewed as a potentially negative source of influence over their cis neighbors because of their progress toward Western integration. These countries are earmarked for neutralization or containment through targeted penetration. Central Europe also provides opportunities for Russian inroads toward the

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