Putin Has Little to Offer Eastern Europe, Gerd Koenen Tells DW

Interview | April 3, 2015, Friday // 13:11|  views

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with Government members at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, 01 April 2015. EPA/BGNES

Russia is lacking a working coherent strategy towards countries in Eastern Europe and Moscow under President Vladimir Putin has little to offer to countries in the region,  German historian Gerd Koenen has opined.

“You can certainly try to court members of the political elite. You can sound the call of the old Orthodox solidarity, as is being attempted in Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia and also Greece,” Koenen said in an interview [EN] for Deutsche Welle.

“But Moscow cannot "save" Greece if it goes bankrupt, nor can Moscow draw the country permanently into its orbit,” he said.

Looking at the Kremlin’s plans for Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, Koenen commented that they are continuing to display “the fatal political combination” of self-isolation and overextending Russia’s global reach which contributed to the collapse of the USSR.

The three small Baltic states may be NATO members now but they never were home to Alliance bases or troops.

“Now, faced with the threat of concealed "hybrid" warfare like in [Ukraine's] Donbass region, there will be some small, more symbolic, bases,” according to Koenen. 

You can read the whole interview here:


Tags: Eastern Europe, Moscow, Deutsche Welle, Putin, Russia, Bulgaria, interview

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