For Russia's President Vladimir Putin, there is more room to maneuver in the present security crisis in Europe than his US counterpart and Nato. Through deploying more troops and weapons in or withdrawing some of them from Crimea or Russia's border region with Ukraine, he has his perfect valve to up or to down pressure on Ukraine, Nato, and the US, to increase war danger or to decrease tensions.
|Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AFP/VNA|
Waging war with Ukraine isn't his real intention because he well knows that Russia could easily win any war with Ukraine but the prices for all consequences and problems after the war would be much higher for Russia than its capability to pay. The world, Europe, and Russia of today are not as like as in 2014. His true aim is to force the US and Nato to realize and recognize Russia's security concerns, to accept Russia as equal world power concerning world politics and world security, to deal with Russia, and not to ignore Russia.
His strategy to reach this goal is to push the US and Nato into a kind of true security crisis in Europe, not to compete with the US and Nato on military might in Europe but to show how vulnerable and fragile all existent security structures and institutions in Europe are and at disadvantage only to Russia because of Nato's enlargements aiming at militarily encircling Russia. His strategy is to let the US and Nato smell the threat of war in today's Europe, to live in and with permanent fears and expectations that wars could still break out again in Europe so that Europe's all present security structures and institutions could be at any time collapsed. His strategy is surely not to wage wars with Ukraine or with other Nato members in Europe but to trigger a new kind of security crisis in Europe and to push the US and Nato to bog down deeper and deeper in it until they do accept to negotiate and agree with Russia on new security arrangements for Russia and Europe.
His strategy is to use the mighty impacts of uncertainties to wear down the US and Nato, uncertainties about what he wanted, about how realistic the war threats are, about what he would do next.
This strategy especially and his game, in general, is of cause not without risks and dangers for Russia and him personally. But until now, he has successfully managed and led this game. To be sure, only until now. The US and Nato will surely continue to sabotage his game and strategy.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by Ambassador Tran Duc Mau are of his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Hanoi Times.