Russia's Next Move

05 17 2014

Steven LeBlanc

Will a greater Russian threat materialize? Russia wants a buffer with states to the west of it friendly to Russia. For Russia, the deeper the buffer, the better. This is where the Ukraine fits in. Russia does not want a Ukraine that is developing friendlier ties with the European Union. What is disturbing, in view of limited American support against Russian assertiveness, the peoples of eastern and southern Europe such as the Poles, Slovaks, Hungarians, Romanians, Serbians and Azerbaijanis are seeking new alliances. The word is out, America is only going to get involved so far, many of these nations in Europe will most likely be left on their own if Russia chooses to become even more aggressive.

Some nations are taking steps to protect themselves. Azerbaijan has made the decision to arm itself and looks for new alliances that can help in case Russia moves against them. A largely Muslim state in the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan serves as a transit route for U.S. troops in Afghanistan it is also a nexus for energy supplies destined for Europe, but it has close ties with Europe.

What we are seeing is that President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, their willingness to engage in assertive action, is simply not happening. Their response to Russia has been lukewarm. Europe lacks the will to enforce meaningful sanctions against Russia because it is too dependent on Russia’s natural gas. This leaves smaller nations vulnerable. Eastern European nations will seek security by making new alliances; they believe they cannot rely on America. Wars and rumors of war (Matthew 24:6), is creating a ripple of insecurity among the nations in Central and Eastern Europe.

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