Third Putin Term Poses New Foreign Policy Challenges for Russia and Eurasia

The third presidential term of Vladimir Putin will increase pressure on Russia from Western nations that have overtly and covertly sought to foment unrest throughout the Russian Federation. While such a threat is of the most immediate concern to Russia itself, another threat posed by the West will be the attempt by the West to pry more nations away from what is now considered by the military-industrial-intelligence complex in the United States and other NATO countries to be an emerging Russo-Sino bloc in Eurasia. The United States and NATO fears that such an emerging bloc will draw a line against further NATO encroachment in the Central Asian “stans,” Iran, the Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East.

The outcome of the battle for Syria between Shi’as, Alawites, Christians, Druze, and Ba’ath Socialist stalwarts on one side and NATO-, Gulf Wahhabi Sunni-, and Israeli-backed Sunni and Kurdish guerrillas on the other, will increase big power rivalry in the Middle East. The Russian naval installation at Tartus cannot be replaced given the new political geography of the region. The Turkish government of Islamist-oriented Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has given approval for NATO to build part of its missile shield on Turkish territory.

Another problem for Russia will be the Mikheil Saakashvili regime in Georgia. Saakashvili counts a number of neo-conservative war hawks, Republicans and Democrats, in the U.S. Congress as his friends. These war hawks will be clamoring for the U.S. to take a tougher approach toward the Putin presidency and they will find a willing provocateur in Saakashvili. Georgia’s influence-peddling and lobbying operations in Washington, DC, while not as strong as those of Israel, utilize some of the same political conduits and networks as the Israelis.

There will be a concerted effort by the United States and NATO to ensure that no more nations recognize the independence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Once that is accomplished, Washington and its allies will seek to reverse the recognition already granted the republics by nations in Latin America and the South Pacific.

The United States will be betting on a change of leadership in Venezuela, especially if President Hugo Chavez succumbs to cancer. A reversal of relations between Venezuela and the two republics will leave Nicaragua as the sole Latin American nation recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Using its clout in the Asia-Pacific region and its close ties to Australia and New Zealand, the United States will also seek the cancellation of relations between the two Caucasus fledgling republics and Nauru, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The neo-con wings of the Republican and Democratic parties will also push strongly for Georgia’s admittance into NATO. The Republicans will be ardent supporters of the NATO anti-ballistic missile shield’s full deployment and operation on Russia’s periphery.

Croatia’s and Serbia’s full membership in the European Union will be used as a wedge by NATO to isolate Russia from the Balkans and promote the full recognition of Kosovo at the expense of the rights of the Serbian minority in northern Kosovo.

There is also the expectation that the “soft power” construct that develops and fields thematic “color revolutions” in nations not under the thumb of the West and the global capitalist financial cartel will push for regime change in Russia’s periphery to negate the formation of a Eurasian Union that would stand in opposition to NATO or an expanded Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that could expand its role into other areas, including mutual defense.

The same use of National Endowment for Democracy, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) funded by George Soros under his Open Society Institute umbrella that was used to generate or co-opt popular revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa will be used to destabilize countries in the Russian sphere of influence, particularly in Belarus, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Not content with stirring up unrest in the periphery nations, the same grouping of U.S. intelligence fronts and NGOs will try to foment unrest in ethnic republics that are part of the Russian Federation, particularly those in the strategic Caucasus and Siberia regions.

The political influence of the nationalist-inclined True Finns Party in Finland may also see the United States and NATO use Finland in the same manner that Georgia and the Baltic states have been used to stage covert operations against Russia. Russia will face the possibility of NGO and color revolution activities emanating from Finland and Estonia to destabilize Finnic-Ugric republics and regions of Russia, particularly among the Karelians, Mari, Udmurt, Mordvin, Komi, and Votyak. Mongolia, which has become a major base for Western NGOs and intelligence services, may serve as a similar base for stirring up problems among the Tuvan, Yakut, Buryat, and other Siberian ethnic groups.

Russian arms exports, particularly to Western-sanctioned nations like Iran and Syria, and possible targets of White House-led “Responsibility to Protect” operations, such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, and Cuba, will come under close scrutiny by U.S. congressional war hawks like Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. Putin and his counterparts in Beijing will be painted as a revived “Red Bloc,” a mantra that will be repeated by the military-industrial-intelligence complex and their allies in the media to justify continued overly-inflated military and intelligence budgets.

The United States and its allies will also try to take advantage of any changes in the foreign and defense policy leadership of Russia, especially if there are new faces in the upper echelons of the Russian Foreign and Defense ministries.

Although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced she will not serve in her present position in a second Obama administration, current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice will continue to espouse anti-Russian rhetoric at the UN or, if she succeeds Clinton, at the Department of State.

There will be more “end-runs” around the UN Security Council if Russia and/or China wields the veto and resolutions blocked in the Security Council will be taken to the General Assembly, where the West now enjoys a working and substantial majority of votes.

Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin, or his possible replacement, will be faced by a situation at the UN that will see a much-less independent and more pro-Western stance by traditionally nonaligned nations, especially if there are “regime changes” in Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Algeria, and Bolivia.

The bottom line is that the United States and its NATO and other allies will give little diplomatic space for Russia and China. The neo-conservative war hawks have made no secret of their desire to replace the governments of Russia and China with more pro-Western governments more amenable to the globalization desires of Western financial and military interests.

The Obama administration and its allies will undoubtedly manufacture a series of Russian and Chinese “espionage” cases, especially those in the cyber-espionage realm, to hype the alleged “threats” from Moscow and Beijing. A Cold War-era policy of “containment” of Russia and China will be adopted with the significant difference that “regime change” in Moscow and Beijing will be a goal of the new “old” policy.

The third term of Putin will, for Russia, be years of “living dangerously” among increasingly hostile NATO and other Western nations. Russian diplomacy has not faced a greater danger since the fall of the Soviet Union.


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