Russia Could Create Problems In this Important Eastern European Country

Russia Could Create Problems In this Important Eastern European Country

Dan Goure

Security, Eurasia

Put will Putin pull the trigger?

For almost two decades, Russia has been interfering in the domestic politics of other nations. According to one report, Russia has interfered in the political processes of at least 27 North American and European countries since 2004.  The Kremlin has several goals for this assault:  first, to undermine the legitimacy of Western governments and principles such as the rule of law and human rights; second, to weaken major institutions such as the European Union and NATO; and third, encourage the formation of pro-Russian governments.

A wide variety of techniques and tactics are being employed, including generating false news stories about pro-democracy movements, hacking the communications of government institutions and political parties, funding pro-Moscow political movements, and using international organizations such Interpol to harass political opponents. The effects of this undeclared war are particularly pernicious in so-called semi-consolidated democracies, such as Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Moldova.

One of the Putin regime’s favorite tricks is to support pro-Russian political parties while simultaneously doing everything possible to undermine the credibility of pro-Western parties and politicians. In some instances, Russian money has gone simultaneously to both pro-Russian and extreme nationalist parties. This would seem to be a self-contradicting strategy. However, the Kremlin’s primary objective is to undermine the power of centrist parties that have dominated European politics for decades and to encourage those countries to pursue anti-Western and anti-EU policies.

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