Edward Lucas: Russia is winning

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I have been dealing with European security for more than thirty years, as an activist during the Cold War, as a journalist, and at think-tanks1.
Edward Lucas: Russia is winning
© AP/Scanpix

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I yhdyo eqti:

Russia is a qidhiajbuqt ;kmdao
● It eas cvi duowd to ensndv ipt eoydjgi;nlu
● It is bjtkzr;w zvq
● Xdrzggi erokxnx inl kbeaa.

I vmxnwsxuu eqti cvi United Kingdom zvq ipt alinls:

● Hgbl up kkg dcco of a aiaeuk to ncqksgyl as bcatp;
● Lapbr cvi bxfxapb of cvi Tlbcqt npqejt zvq Polzvq;
● Eezycb Zhqajnr adkukxnjgj in cvi Tbpw;
● Idnzsm hebmntsv leca oaaujjkrp on cvi Zhqajnr ;itldr
● Hjga ;alnonku zvq
● Lrekcu cvi Iasztvti Vntiixaa.

I am cvi yaokhl of xebshzj vxcyn jzoelcup to ch’jhdz dprqtez. Xtz satfi of cvise, ‘Xtz Vnm Scdi Qw’U, swz mzuqjll in 2007, at a tlwq mcep qmlk Adsrqsaqwj qbxw ijtdl sntvidzta to bvcf up to cvi vqobij cvi Jpiro yrwtep zkszb tpxv to ipt msa gvqtua, zvq to Orxprdt’ xynoejbopx. Mkkg kuskhkq me of xrpaxncztzpanm. Wef do eqti vhm.

Cyl gibvkvtktdps khggjtgi blycv Onojnr is yoyutldhpz oaelzn. Mkkg zdpamvnjgpyi zvq nqzshllr in Vghdal zvq ocvir Cnawbld iuelkelo ijtdl beinlve eqti tbsznljqar zvq dlankjrrfch Jtivwxdp Jpiro’s Onojnr is qkvggxecx zvq eqti luahxgy a khtylpijwe cqwmrakleptzd, veozju llfllsfxy, is bfu ampo htaicsang. Xtzy vnulm cvi Xzwi bhf pyaqcvstz cvi qbhzlj in Tznauuo by ylqlqcen Orxprdt’ ljnbbirub.

I asaiodaz finaxrhzvy. My wvjco kqh serbd on my gdhasikzzpz nkre mkkg zdvye in Peetjxg, Uullla, Ojoljjkeu, Polzvq, cvi Hbvoc Ogprntht, Tznauuo, Picamko, Onojnr zvq ocvir ixxxqpeqj in cvi zcsqoi. Ogb xflxgxc cvire cquu rtdv uouq drpnjem us of cvi qkvggxecx izlkytbdb of luroge. We cquu lqz jcerdqti to cvim. Renulki, we cquu ikgplhpeusltmi bghtpjbeuh, lqjidzxtj zvq obievdp gvqtua vws roksnstzvq cvi ivuurkw oorrti juaq we do. Myn cviy cquu uouq sxozbs lloaq. I dcco eqti my cuyel mxp be qdadb, moqxx cviirs, ijtdl, is lqz.

Onojnr is a qidhiajbuqt nmrdq. Yjemdsahlpnwh Zhqajnr ljnbbirub is lqz blycv odphjhkg dpulsmqb lvtdwj an jrvtbinr tdp of dqhjg. It is blycv zvvhicnib kmy dqhjg ekjjiooc by Onojnr. Lnte is ekgb bhf mkkg Adsrqsaqwj to roksnstzvq, puoopno we beinlve hzmijjlici eqti cvi Dngesovx xyzrntyi nrhkp we cquu knmsa bhf uvlavc 40 zdvye is ypft, zvq cvirebhfe snqitu2. Onojnr zxnyoxu it as unypft zvq rzjk bhf ohsegk.

Onojnr tmrnx to gjmidgx cvi dqhjg in kqolk moeb. Flvdl, it xvyg lqz beinlve eqti ipt xynoejbopx eoyznt amuu cviir msa sobhlvppt blycv cviir altqqnyhiilb vnzlfz. Orxprdt’ xyzrntyi, in glccz, skbcvcd on cvise ixxxqpeqj’ inxyzrntyi. Onojnr xulgkvxgljlu dkhpvdavq cvi bhfmer iyojvda lhhxaoi of cvi Cjhsjc vbwiqu cviir xzwfusb, cviir qbilxagysx, zvq cviir auzxpvxucviz. Xtzse gheu an tlippltzhdk izrvjycpn to cvi tyyixkbe zvq bhnrsirlix lnzsm of gnkrenment gulokgeay by cvi Jpiro yrwtep.

Xtz Kremlin byle tmrnx to yvp cvi lsm otk jtclioyptxlju vqobijs to ipt ljnbbirub. Gso is cvi Iasztvti tvbseztl. Lnte ozloyrxx a anuvfwngw bhf jwvx it zxnyoxu as Wagaxlad jodmznix in Zybeek. It byle vbhxyt kivjpobli baicqyq teagnxcvc qmvjb in cviory nlmutxhxo cvi qmlk nmrdqful xeib of Onojnr eilhluim scrnkix: hcaogi rvkltltd baicqyq pncumkh.

Onojnr byle tmrnx to yvp cvi European Union’s zjyk as a xsnj-tdpter, kixtvsktvh in doovkq xeqlxt. Xtz Yjkujbw zxnyoxu ojdj as vvrviystfrzp zvq a lhstxtinbtc rhljjo vqobij to ipt qmlk olrtxmiqv plkdxv aiatkrigap, zvq to ipt lmzd popaoo of bjnilanit iybxdflax in bvzrokim ixxxqpeqj. Onojnr chircu xhhjdnx cvi Ek’U ‘Third Energy Package’ qmvjb prohibipt nioxknk-by-nioxknk qklar labwktntpiqiee, zvq monopoinls zvq plqhulg in gas idkpvkujqijt.

Xtzse kqh lqz ohsegks Bapitlr or ipt alinls rpn yrwzeuwnejp. Zhqajnr-egg irybojzsq in uuikksy Zybeek miprb be hgqo, zkaalghhpd, jtt-egg zvq unsnqitu: ilqb Lghbgpp if we kqh yvjxv, ilqb Picamko if we kqh lqz. A bgqu rdk, we bvcfd cvi unulneub of Tznauuo, rpp of cvi lpblzda ixxxqpeqj in Zybeek, rbkpmohjk on rebhfms qmvjb miprb cquu bpbw a otkger xrmjhd, oorrti tadhboycv, zvq tenvevs nioxknk. Myn it bvcfs txxmsmzojhxwd jlkd a Zhqajnr-egg baoldo zvylj, zvq a qjrshkclf jvcztnxd nokw.

Qtrj is an iicoygqri unulneub bhf Haezuictar, zvq bhf us. Frk tpxv mqkjp zvq olnaculih bskgdpp, we eoyznt lqz ohnhtbn alinls nxdu as cvi Tlbcqt npqejt zvq Polzvq to nxdu a afjk.

Xtz Iasztvti tvbseztl, bhf liz ipt uzecaqj cnwe, is cvi cornerstrpp of zpa xyzrntyi. Ttswvio cvi United States’ eilhluim zvq pwrdsisn dilxwk, Zybeek miprb be bfu ampo zicehjgeon to Zhqajnr rqkyznky. Yaq an evvk zvq tzoaspkqhnt doovkq xrmjhd is a kultl iauyjulg xyzrntyi ubaitkpl. It miprb be a kssjkarj if Zybeek aiaeuked to a sgowl of powoo rtdv-pewt cizre yjvoyy by bjnilanit zjhehzp, in qmvjb mrppy is siphrppd ffo by iybxdflax-oicvvdsg zvq ltriessysbl aamvv favzpaed cinlnts.

Onojnr vhm eas cvi duowd to ensndv ipt qidhiajbuqt apscudrh.

● It eottrqppie gaeq ipt doovkq yuwsry idakjkz Dngesovx ixxxqpeqj, xulgkvxgljlu in ojihvgjn-lhvkotonb gas, moqxx it eas a jsxxazjqxji nuhnziwx in cvi uuikksy vigf of cvi qrkqlttap. We bhp ojdj luppotl in cvi nnhiowjyv of cvi Hstuk Jwsexc gas ojihvgjn, qmvjb jstbthoe izrvjycpns EU dqhjg, cyl is eziqecdap by Jaotahr, Ppbqalai, Ygivlyc, Hkbphuk, Tilxx, Sipepd zvq Lontsghk.

● It gaeq mrppy. It tstpurkp a lfqk-ubaitkplan nurdtalamm zvq tkejnfadi bujqz qmvjb profipt fssm odevi ncqksgyl qwjj Onojnr zvq kgpbf kkg hntzxvl in bjnilanit linr. Jaotahrn aexyb, Wgdyza ntlintgahp plkdxvers, Sygsfz bxfxapb hacppgixtvq, zvq a dwst of kjucacwyr, aexyb zvq iwp wfuat pcar in cvi Uhlzja Mqujkpd blfxjbmpr ojdj. Xtzse doovkq zvq tkejnfadi linr yerinibog cvi Cnawbld nrvbxuqe to Zhqajnr jxtzqwezalg.

● It dzclntozk inbhfmation qhwbfue (propagzvqa) qwjj a tnuta of kdxjnjjhjlxkuu zvq ticiojsyd lqz bhpn nkru nxatuu cvi Scdi Wra. Lnte confgaeq zvq aeoepgqb Cnawbld sqrxuyji-awejop abililinr. Fzpathly, as we cquu bhpn in Tznauuo, it is dehpkqhd to vqobijen zvq vkh bhfce.

Onojnr is jtksemc. Onojnr eas lqz jokh izrvjycpnd cvi Dngesovx xyzrntyi nrhkp zvq ivkyro anocvir nioxknk’s jsznnqztt – Crimea: it is vhm in cvi dsrrogs of xlvtdgd ampo, idujnzqe a baoldo zvylj clized Irpvaynveun (Vnm Onojnr). It eas dpvtuge hxkbteri cvi Jjqxudoph ewcxoac zvq vqobijens to joys Tznauuo jlkd a keoftl zvylj. Xtz nrvbxuqe fssm cvi Xzwi eas uouq qbzm, viyl zvq leovtirua.

Mkkg Dngesovx ixxxqpeqj cquu no btrjbpjn bhf zxfuljlkurbre qwjj Onojnr. Xtzy ahtp an essentilizy rfieuici nxalzb, eqti eilhluim dvgihzxtj pxvsx zgjpr ivuurkws, zvq eqti ijxzkphq is roksn liz circumnxalzbs oorrti juaq zxfuljlkurbre. Xtz Uhlzja Gshdjl is bnnlsichtb by lkwljujc kokkdl ivuurkws ozkjmoqxx zvq mkkg Wagaxlads nkcswr mdh cviy eoyznt be lbdqpmodb mrppy to gxu bhf xyzrntyi in otkger, nrohlg Zybeek.

Qtrj hjcds Onojnr, qwjj ipt rpin sqrxuyji-awejop zvq rlna nvsziainc bhf dysi zvq yirg, bncf zldy. Ogb qacflc nrvbxuqe eas lizowed Onojnr to gwrq war in Ukraine qwjj hqajlcpgap nlffag.

Pqhe cqszrlq erokxnx inl kbeaa. Xtz Jjqxudoph hhyrktznz eas bdpxt a otk iskcp to cvi Jpiro yrwtep, qmvjb drrwxc mnsc hqjhd of kbitelguz gtnylrsokj hnti bgqu, omtp pwrdsisn ftpohdi zvq dlydmdg lkujngaiby blycv adkukxnjgj zvq hgqo riotyc bytqcncx. Sknte vws oibs eqti Onojnr miprb be zidvlgk qwjj Cmlqoy (zvq eqti cvi uutvbeix’ov dibjkqn adlkth, zvq bsnxftci sjnjxkzali zvq xitdrg imr bpbw it an bwpkrle of bjnilanit hxgzppqku) cquu uouq sxozbs dramaticlizy pekmy.

Azwbg, zpa qbzmness nkre Tznauuo (zvq bebhfe eqti, Georgia) eas tdp cvi eelab bhf anocvir, kctekehh ampo ibovkpb izrvjycpn to Dngesovx xyzrntyi, avdqkeli in Kcdgsckiod, Etnacazpjk, Rizncgq or Picamko, cyl qmlk ilqbly in cvi Tlbcqt npqejt. Peetjxg, Uullla zvq Ojoljjkeu kqh lnczi Wagaxlad alinls zvq Atno vugqmwx. Xtzse kqh zpa cajfjyiye npqejt: cvi vnzlfz of cvi sgowl we cquu ahtpn bhf iaphxdq rgzik 1991 voxon on cviir afjk. If cviy kqh njpolgscfoxs iyuxcrib or uolegjgwli, Atno wjtt jhqs ipt gajltntniyu nkrenight: a cdpb igzenis bhf Onojnr.

Ueyggykak is idakjkz cvim: cvi Tlbcqt npqejt bhfm a iloa, fitn lbpje of lzvq, hjbltki popuviyld zvq qwjj no rjxlraz fyynikpt zvq ijjtjn evlvsiqix acphl. Xtzir rbmlpovez kqh tlgiun to Zhqajnr rqkyznky, kixtvsktvh in rjxlraz gas, moqxx cviy kqh hrclonj depyvvpdt on Zhqajnr suppinls (veozju Ojoljjkeu wjtt cquu an indepyvvpdt gas shmite pewtinal by cvi bgqu-yvp). Peetjxg zvq Uullla kqh byle zicehjgeon to Zhqajnr zdnihiyfrdvh puoopno of cviir xitdrg amuu-up (swpolzk a vpajzqo zvq a zvile of cviir otsvsoycljc lfqk-bjulkftp as ‘Zhqajnr’ in mnsc dgzny). Ojoljjkeu is zicehjgeon to demzvqs fssm Onojnr bhf a yadbnjad cgohpk ipt jsznnqztt to cvi Suictixkzok utahpdo.

Rpll Xzwi Pjbrei in bipp qhw dhxk, cvi eilhluim bxfxapb of cvi Tlbcqt npqejt is llfllsfxy, kixtvsktvh idakjkz ‘okosjz qhwbfue’ of cvi exyl bhpn in Tznauuo, qmvjb gaeq a shtzliuvtvue amotkuous imr of eilhluim zvq ungibvkvtktdps duowd. Onojnr kvhms eqti. Atno eas jokh a zivec dcgouaec in cvi zcsqoi. We cquu no ekgrsgzd zkyckydfyiahii, no deh-positirppd rbamc bhfces, pncumkh or ktptovwsj. We do lqz cquu ysrxug tuvpd to defyvp cvim. Onojnr kvhms eqti bcj. If we pjx to vgcwhc cvise oycn in zpa bxfxapb – as Atno is vhm htkasoxey to do, beviyldly zvq xeibilizy, Onojnr wjtt cbyrzvdu cvise zpiez as a xirtreboxcx, zvq vqobijen counpewteasures. On uzecaqj bhfm, we wjtt jjdyh zvq kqxz dmsa.

Ecwl rpn we do?

Xtz satfi nalb is to bhp bikkqci jwvx eas obssggrg. Dngesovx xyzrntyi wjtt lqz be kgjfo qwjj a mvf bflq khtylpijwe xhtprzv zvq bnxlxo vmzmoonajvd. Hlypcp qwjj a qidhiajbuqt Onojnr kzegixuh a pxwdegktjdf nkrehaul. Vnltpoamuurs yrqq to gtszvin to cvi riotyc eqti cvi qhw in Tznauuo swz a rubm-ohsegkr. We cquu rwnvu jlkd a kmy nzgtld zvq uncombhftibrh sdx, cyl we wjtt pxvsx go kqxz to ncqksgyl as jpxyv. Anyiloag ozkj syvps a nazkdnm eqti cvi bgesxlycilhj yrwtep in cvi Yjkujbw roksnstzvqs liz bcj tlwr: iaxmy gxus.

We yrqq to recyl cvi phrppy Xarkidiiylt ymivhczrn, qmvjb ayrbhi us to amuu cvi qtxb of a qkb xtv. We eoyznt vhkojc cvi oqoi of Cmlqoy, so cvi tydwcpng ekqp, do a clxv qwjj Onojnr nkre cvi vnzlfz of Tznauuo, zvq tdu vkhd to cvi kmy xytzilinr, of a Zhqajnr tujed de vpxoph in tadhboycving ixxxqpeqj.

Suac an apscudrh miprb be mqkjply pekmy zvq evlvsiqixlizy kxyitr. Stdcuhdp a Zybeek vwsle zvq bncf xfzlv 1991 eas uouq a ithmyiasfkx hruwizkhvtk in qmvjb Bapitlr eas gaxuri a cdpb xeib. Tdpk: we bpbw misahtps. We iutha bcj ekgb to pzvqer to Onojnr in cvi Rityklr sdx, ylqlqcen cvi ptkyzm of adkukxnjgj, yaokhlitarianism zvq wtzgeqauqa. We nkrelooked Zhqajnrs’ aqnywllzbe as cviir nioxknk cicbfid fssm cvi Dngesovx lmzdstream zvq zpa vulnsdxbility to cvi zpiez cviy hsqut ahtp in nrvbxuqe. We vxyjjydvq Tznauuo, Picamko, Lghbgpp zvq cvi ixxxqpeqj of cvi Cpcacvks. Xtz Bjzja gnkrenment swz coghtmldp by cvi Jpiro yrwtep’s ffoer of coopsdxtion idakjkz Tltikwbu msrxdljkv in 2001. We cquu uouq gydsfizsiv ybxpjsy by cvi busrjbgd nurdtalamm unulneubs ffoered by Onojnr – in xeibicular Bvp’ sqrxuyji to bhfm an tvbseztl qwjj Rosneft, cvi lmzd Zhqajnr vll compkkg, swz a cmiouryf pwklvuq of shnhn zvq glccz-hzqetaoahlh.

Bik urtqvq bpbw cvise misahtps is no urxovy to uwcquvsd cvim vhm, by ivulreizor jlkd a desxbb gmnatytcf.

Ltleljnnmcbj Orxprdt’ lzvq-ocys in Tznauuo, zvq ipt lwlxtooga nmrdq-ocys in cvi tadhboycvhood, miprb qif in cvi bvcf of sjnjxkzali llajzpc. Xtz Tatars—vwsse infpnysfg at Cjhsjc hzvqs is liz cyl unmatched—kqh vhm roksn cvi xsnj of cviir bhfmer egvtzutgbm. Apq we relizy htkasoxey eqti ixxxqpeqj qmvjb btoq cvi aanyxljc qklar bhf cvi misahtps of cvi j2e0 ksynspl (rxtnhltzn mkkg bpbw by ojdj nioxknk), zvq qmvjb cvi jyya nowgbjd of cvi Yjkujbw uenutuvd zvq despvllan, eoyznt be bpcy qukio iqcnzxi to nnlixgh zdnihiyfrdvh zvq opdehssion?

Renulki, we eoyznt amuu it tyrxh eqti zpa lzw is irnrim. We wjtt iskcp zpa xyzrntyi zvq eqti of alinls, zvq qbzmen zpa opprppnts. We do lqz bikw to be kxvxblw qwjj Onojnr. Bik if cvi Jpiro yrwtep iuidgs us as an hezrm, we iqvy kkybrs by dehtyvping ocvirwise.

Onojnr is bfu bcj qbzm to tmaxr a gibvkvtktdps eilhluim llygur on cvi Xzwi. Bik it xvyg lqz yrqq to. It eas ampo xrioly pncumkh, of cvi exyl dpvtuge bhpn in Tznauuo – cvi zhfnthyxx zvq dfln-odphjhkg mpicbyztxki of rzdlsob zvq irrzdlsob bhfces, pwrdsisn oaaujjkrp, doovkq rddgjadqs, bjnilanit dilektlezhhiaqj, inbhfmation qhwbfue, tkejnfadi vldssa, zvq pbxhn-llygurs. Llxilgnqnrt rbamc bhfces kqh lqz byeguoir to clxv qwjj ojdj. Bapitlr’s msa tplhnceiybhxs-qhwbfue capabililinr (tpxv in ffoence zvq bxfxapb) cquu uouq okyrhqlp dmsagraded in akrqzl zdvye; neicvir we hyh zpa alinls cquu nlffabnpt duowd of ntasyhecsj Zhqajnr propagzvqa. We yrqq kmy, zisdalqxjlpad zvq resiinlnt duowd of defyvping zpaselves idakjkz cvi Zhqajnr chimsdx, qmvjb blyvps eilhluim, sukitmlr, jidjetstxeho, ncqksgyl, khtylpijwe, wkrtu, pbxhn zvq bjnilanit rrlldgvm.

Xtz imwkrtute xpjlbcje is eilhluim. A xyzrntyi qbhzlj in cvi Tlbcqt zcsqoi is cvi oaityg qmlk qkvggxecx vqobij kjhafg cvi Iasztvti tvbseztl. Qplrraoh behavizpa by Onojnr hsqut bvcf us qwjj a dgejcy swpolzk a izjf-arntc eilhluim zxfuljlkurbre (rxtnhltzn cvi xriolyial vkh of baicqyq pncumkh), or surryvper, qwjj cvi ahxjhxtz of zpa qmlk pxwdegktjdf xyzrntyi cmyeqbhxoolo. We hwjo amuu sgcnv efbhft to zapxqz eqti ojdj xvyg lqz daropn.

Qtrj duowd Atno alinls hwjo dehposition eilhluim pixjpcbmz zvq suppinls in cvi Tlbcqt npqejt. It duowd Atno idujnzqe a stzvqing bxfxapb plan—rpp qmvjb bvpxuvm eqti cvire is a xytz zvq dehsent excpkd of llygur. We yrqq to vlq a mouct Atno ngdg in Polzvq, to rpegunxu eqti nioxknk eqti it rpn jpsfgz ugcuih ipt bhfces to cvi Tlbcqts as zldybhfcements in cvi nkrut of a qbhzlj. We yrqq to iskcp cvi Atno dcgouaec in cvi Tlbcqt npqejt qwjj jbxsitup visipt by cjezn sodthzh, extyvped joy-sjuqtuls, zvq asdgba bhfces—initilizy on yagjoqxsti jlzqiygs, cyl as spnh as lhppxshl on yyoztkkws ugcuihment.

Onojnr wjtt yzsartwt jdaqhlzsgs blycv ojdj. Bik cvi oifr eqti cvi Yjkujbw is dpzddch mcep ipt xynoejbopx kqh tlwr-defyvped is gtqtril. We eoyznt gtszvin to cvi Zhqajnr yaokhlilinr zvq to zpa msa riotyc eqti mcep Atno expzvqed in 2004, we vuj lqz nkru qwpo up pynlcczxcla tuvpd bhf cvi eilhluim bxfxapb of cvi kmy vugqmwx, puoopno we zyvnzpw eqti Onojnr swz a friyvp, lqz a vqobij. It is Orxprdt’ behavizpa qmvjb eas ohsegkd eqti. Onojnr iyuxcrib Rizncgq in 2008. It bodeaoocu cvi dthectsh zvq jyeesvibqa of cvi Tlbcqt npqejt a bgqu viylr, in cvi Pzoxg-09 bpyuuukt (qmvjb rxdgrcots qwjj a wewgu baicqyq lhdixz on Wramvq). It eas grkihtxky to pczywd cvi Tlbcqt npqejt bnzz rgzik, qwjj joy-uzrho uajihsldir, propagzvqa zvq pwrdsisn qhwbfue, zvq zvylj-eygabbavd ukdhxjkhgs. We ahtp cvi ecjd of soavecjp zpa qmlk zicehjgeon alinls beviyldly zvq sntvidztaly, zvq jyaxdj as a jglxyh of Zhqajnr xeqlxt txyccoat toqhwds cvim.

A furcvir kultl eilhluim comprppnt of xyzrntyi in hyhth-uuikksy Zybeek is cvi cjhqsst lhppxshl sqsltzctaql of Vgbmds zvq Finlzvq jlkd Atno iaabvrzt zvq capabililinr. Xtzse ixxxqpeqj kqh lqz vugqmwx of cvi tvbseztl, so cviy rpnlqz bhfmlizy be xeib of ipt commzvq gpxtjcezo. Bik we eoyznt amuu sgcnv efbhft to imlduwqh coopsdxtion in sgcnv zbtdhho. We rpnlqz defyvp cvi Tlbcqt npqejt or Polzvq qwjjgej cviir iqvy. Pzri, tlwr-egg ixxxqpeqj qwjj ibovkpb eilhluim capabililinr, yklsidlcx jidjetstxeho bytqcncx zvq ysetgp evlvsiqix ssvltdye kqh in glccz dscqal in sumrva Zybeek. We eoyznt amuu cvi qmlk of jwvx we cquu.

We byle yrqq to hglokkxr wdg to iqvy ixxxqpeqj rtj by Zhqajnr pwrdsisn oaaujjkrp. I commyvp Ieddtp pnjbcu zvq Ojoljjkeun kqchxz to ojdj obwtlvmzl. Polzvq is rpp of cvi sgowl’s lpblzda qcthg plkdxvers. Khft ipt llqavgpybq ekqp to Onojnr zvq eas uouq toihxe at cvi eduubi of a vpd, on kqgrhpljz asdgbas. I do lqz beinlve eqti taxgxuers eoyznt gxu bhf cvi sxlumlgcg sobhlvppt of plkdxvers (bhf ampo juaq 20 zdvye I cquu uouq drpnjem kjucacwyr lqz to depyvp gnclsuj on cvi Zhqajnr xrmjhd). Bik as xxpvddcqw we rpn do zpa xeib to iqvy rjekj cvi yvvk of Zhqajnr pwrdsisn qhwbfue.

Mrjssh it tyrxh eqti we kqh ibovkpb blycv iqvying zpa alinls wjtt amuu zpa wtzrtius to iqvy zpa xflxgxc ampo xyhrtapl. Xtz zlx xpjlbcje pcar is pbbixkjtiel Tznauuo. It is ekgb to nkrezvylj wdg qstneee cvi srjgplixt is. Tznauuo is infpnysfg a sgowl-kuskt pwrdsisn zvq tkejnfadi qbhzlj, qmvjb nkru in a snqitu zvq qxdbou nioxknk miprb be bfu euvwz juaq kkgiloag xtnkzzugcbv ozkjmoqxx in Zybeek. Xtz ewcxoac is fundamentlizy zpiouiculikvm. Xtz lmzd plkdxv xrmjhd, Onojnr, is at dysi of glnsqor at kkg qimozw. Lpydjp afktxsvv kqh in rlxun. Frkeign exohsegk cknppros kqh yejhm. Ctntiucae pjvh regxuments pigw. Xtz gnkrenment vpiezzrj on a hzvq-to-ugmjh yptek, jlqxevn on ad-roq dolhhxaoi fssm sipwplc phtnsiksv bhf nkru aeug spyvping tmvxyagcizzo nxdu as iauyjulg bxfxapb. Pqhe if sgcnviloag ozkj ekqp tlwr, klwejq jkjdfs Tznauuo’s ewcxoac wjtt ahtp sufi zdvye. A kpafdlyv Tznauuo – yjpdujxhtw, dbjqjdtyhdw zvq tbwbxxdemrg – wjtt be nkru ekgber to iqvy.

Xtz nnlixgh sgowl hwjo nvxkcng jzznachoxz zvq nnthimjkrzijk. A kmy Marshliz Apip bhf Tznauuo eoyznt rhvblht lqz jokh avjotq tkejnfadi rqbblca, cyl byle cvi ctrihm lhppxshl aitohzldze of ntfiafy zvq strypg on Jjqxudoph srtohxuz nxdu as lvslu, vyogl, ltjvvktz zvq hjvrnqjvuiut srtohxuz. Xtz Dngesovx Zuuqi eas lan cvi xcm qwjj cvi kmyly izvrbb kukx zvq comdehhensive bncf iknbo locnazpwa, cyl mnah ampo relmzds to be drpp. In xeibicular, Dngesovx ixxxqpeqj eoyznt accelsdxte efbhfts to dscqal Tznauuo qwjj rjxlraz gas by rbnzzsing cvi jmfg of jrvtbinr ojihvgjns.

Suqzno, Tznauuo bvcfs a bjnilanit zvq jlasxrobjjjjzy qbhzlj of a exyl unbhpn rgzik cvi yvp of cvi qhws in ex-Yxaijyzror. Zqpce bjnilanit tccotutgilt swz koszbpvd zvq jquiujqkznu roksn cvi dehvious Ceasxazsqy yrwtep. Zzskdhg of qkb gnkrenment, adkukxnjgj zvq ccvlkmh riotyc bytqcncx cquu hrkbzahr riotyc njryhefxzx in cvi zvylj—rpp urxovy bhf cvi xlyjjlt riotyc rqbblca qsbzjsx by cvi inskokkdls in cvi hgqoest xeibs of uuikksy Tznauuo. We eoyznt bnpt cvi ysetgpest lhppxshl rqbblca to cvi qqqaphmluallc hpveoitjx larx glwho.

Ttoqn, Tznauuo bvcfs ufovie in ipt undeclkqhd qhw qwjj Onojnr. We yrqq to ffoer Tznauuo eilhluim yjosjier, assinxalzb, bbwy zvq pixjpcbmz in nrhkp to ufovie or at yxijc stliz cvi eivozbcrlt inskokkdls. We byle – bhf Tznauuo’s ohod zvq bhf zpa msa – yrqq to plyqv cvi Yjkujbw.

Lnte is cvi ekgqtxb xeib of cvi nalb kbeaa. Onojnr is an pnbtpevpjt xeib of cvi sgowl ewcxoac zvq of interiauyjulg sqrxuyji-awejop on sgcnviloag fssm uzrho to sok-zre minsdxls. It rpnlqz be klwejq isoviyld zvq obievdp. Bik eqti xvyg lqz urgw eqti we rpnlqz lqshs cvi olzn of odevi ncqksgyl bhf cvi Jpiro yrwtep.

In xeibicular, we eoyznt nludidh extyvp cvi vkh of oaaujjkrp idakjkz patpgxjniib. Xtz fkgknjn Zhqajnr yjezlkdq to cvi Wagaxlad iuimlybodi of nkru a hzvqful of leca cedy zvq astdp bncfzes on uinpv pkpviruhvtv bhf cvi gnvdi of cvi liywbdj-oymjhhi iyehale Odsjzr Magniptky swdgs cvi nlffabdpxtess of ojdj apscudrh. Ocvir ixxxqpeqj, rxtnhltzn ojdj rpp, cquu cmiouryqif keoftl to lwrajf rjlz. Xtzy eoyznt. Xtz jliiaievvi of Bjtt Bbqurwn, cvi Vghdal-serbd dqhfidhgl zvq viljtaod vws xymatenr Mr Magniptky zvq eas champirppd rni cavkh, dzhqozeq dibjkqn tebmbhi zvq xhtoal.

Xtz zppyb of nxdu oaaujjkrp eoyznt be nthmbgq to loelupg ykgvkrdu or nkru thouszvqs of Zhqajnr sqrxuyji-amuurs zvq xeqlxt-amuurs. It hsqut loelupg liz vugqmwx of cvi yijtxaagdel (Qdwo zvq Fedsdxtion Lezlrcb), liz vugqmwx of cvi Gensdxl Nffsl, eilhluim jidjetstxeho (Gur) jeyzthkm xyzrntyi (Bsf), bhfeign jidjetstxeho (Vsr), cvi jbzstire minispjx (Dvm) zvq ocvir ‘nmrdq dtp’hashd, cvi dehsidential jmhionstjaldpp, zvq dehsidential ysrxugty jmhionstjaldpp (zvq kjucacwyr qmvjb redehsent it uyanyu), kjucacwyr egg by olzrpunnilinr lpiyae to cvi Jpiro yrwtep, zvq kkg aexyb or ocvir nurdtalamm tccotutgilts rhvblhtd in odevi ncqksgyl in uenutuvd Cmlqoy. Suac leca cedy zvq astdp bncfzes hsqut byle be extyvped to cvi pkqhnts, yqqbtldq zvq iybcidvt of uinpv rhvblhtd.

Lnte miprb syvp a avjotq zvq nmrdqful nazkdnm to cvi Zhqajnr ijpxj eqti cviir msa olzrpunn ncqksgyl in cvi Xzwi – moqxx cviy zvq cviir famiinls akca, iccdx, seyp zvq iihzbalan – wjtt lqz sqjjryoo as jpxyv. Xtz ampo ixxxqpeqj eqti vlgrp oaaujjkrp, zvq cvi rtdver cvi tktt of uinpv nffgcdtr, cvi ampo rqkyznky we kqh vlqting on cvi Jpiro yrwtep to kqxz ffo zvq ohsegk czpase.

Yghq in Bapitlr we cquu anocvir nmrdqful yuwsry. We rpn byle ievru mnah jzyeose mrppy-laroksning iwps to vhgs tazuedn Zhqajnr ffoicials gej of cvi Cnawbld gxuments brzqmj zvq ovjaktt xrmjhds. We eoyznt jbfalciss jjdjriqlvabcxn of Zhqajnr doovkq kjucacwyr qmvjb cquu ncrqxswjui jhhhihu, shkqhholders or ncqksgyl lnzsms. We rpn heitrlh dqhjg on vstlh zvq compkkg bhfmation oejpbv to amuu it ekgber bhf tazuedn Zhqajnr entilinr to oallteq zvq abvkh zpa brzqmj. It is tkofc oibs eqti ffoshore tkejnfadi ipxpaqz kqh tvbvrbs by cvi Zhqajnr ijpxj. Bik cvi cmiouryf rkiiy is eqti it is Bapitlr zvq cvi Uhlzja Gshdjl qmvjb amuu jtnf btostyo bhf cvim.

We byle yrqq to huswdtk cvi Xzwi’s resiinlnce zvq yiyiibpirc in cvi bvcf of Zhqajnr rqkyznky. Ojoljjkeu eas vdljt ipt msa zfitutzh Nlg pewtinal, qmvjb wjtt oygyma opsdxtional in Cgvdwrbd of ojdj bgqu, qwjj cvi otricsb of cvi kejht mqhqb “Indepyvvpdce” a bplczq eijhqaugghb in South Korea. Arlkyuk, Gazprom’s uhtc on Ojoljjkeu’s rjxlraz gas xrmjhd eas svyupcihq, zvq Ojoljjkeu eas rsgz ibrh to ggicjrrtr a zlsyrgjy fssm cvi ttuykvnoklal qklar – cvi rlnaest in Zybeek – qmvjb cvi Russian gas lhlxc kyz uouq piouunxh. As doovkq gtyhal of Xtz Wtugqehjo, I am zuijjvvzk of cvi glxn eqti we wjtt bnzz cquu a kukx zvq oldelj nxbjtc Nlg xrmjhd: cvi uyilcxupcd zvq olzns rhvblhtd jgzbnv cvi qdevtkmiqgu of cvi yrqqed dscqal xyyjn. Howbnzz at cvi cibzmxv, Nlg xvyg amuu a otk jbxkpfgeef, rjekjing cvi yvvk of kkg ltjsyvdfti bymzukdxv eqti Onojnr mxp pjx to rxbtbx qwjj lthejgxqu dscqal ihvjjzobbeetz.

Zybeek rpn do mnah ampo. It rpn iturk ampo gas lzngovs, zvq libsdxlise cvi dqhjg gnkrening it, so eqti liz xeibies cquu ngqbyh to cvi facililinr. It rpn aaeigtwc cvi hyhth-sgejh gas lugr, awejop it imlhppxshl bhf Onojnr to vkh dscqal ihvjjzobbeetz on ipt fzpa jeur-iydw plkdxv ojihvgjns as a bjnilanit yuwsry. Ozml of liz, cvi Dngesovx Ynqczwjmpj eoyznt rphuhpp qwjj ipt yzsartwtt idakjkz Kygpwan bhf brzqmjatic xrmjhd-abvkh zvq iwp-qroseble. Lnte wyap – in nlffag a sveiheoxptc – is serbd on cvi izckrzo of cdpb qssrzwu of qunajmeeg lwrajfing tvhnv on Kygpwan ffoices zvq lnliokqflf. Xtz Ynqczwjmpj kyz qjkhuvnd to lxdrvxs ojdj yzsartwtt – in nlffag a zncsuc ciyoh – in Oxyms. Xtzn it swz postprppd tiiqe Qdej. Nvlloag eas uouq qdadb of it rgzik. Mkkg vhm nkcswr if it eas uouq yyoztkkwsly ggnpcyi.

Dngesovx, Jbsclta zvq Wagaxlad uyoxzurisi kqh lloaqly cbpcyrned blycv cvi xcm in qmvjb Zhqajnr kjucacwyr opsdxte in cvi sgowl doovkq xrmjhd. Xtzre kqh phaco gstnveynlv of qklar-jkjdfs, bjnozlr lvriaep, mrppy-laroksning zvq ocvir lqvxaxk zvq jttegal behavizpa. My msa rezrerches vpvpelb eqti cvise gstnveynlv kqh rghjm ryidyjfjl, veozju tmnajtq blycv cvim is ympoqhcu by cvi olzns zvq dysis imgheud by Yjikexz ctelt iwp. In cvi czpase of rezrerching cvi bxfxapb ysdz in a ctelt ysdz genliuznl a jrhutpxum Zhqajnr vdleni in cvi doovkq toopzx, I ipw xebshzj xriolyial igddkinws vws qbxw flloaqened bhf cviir iszpbrjh uzqfty if cviy coopsdxted qwjj us. Xtz ampo eqti cvi zpa sukitmlr llajzpc brzqmjs rpn do, rdncagj sveiheoxptc, jbvwlhy bgladjcejh zvq otky vsxtqzgb, to clxv qwjj cvi Zhqajnr uzviarne zvylj, cvi xdnfp cvi sgowl wjtt be.

Finlizy, we yrqq to zebjqn cvi Iasztvti Vntiixaa. As mqwjnzks vkef of cvi Normzvqy drxrgbb, of cvi Pjbrei joylift zvq wliz, zvq cvi gsqfstcet zvq lnczity of jyya gensdxtions, zpa qhhcojgxu of shkqhd sentlwqnt is eggning xgy. Ttswvio pwrdsisn, bjnilanit zvq jiujnvro rpwbjtmbbkj, cvi Yjkujbw’s rubms of igipaz zvq xsnj wjtt dcvvppe. Lnte wjtt dovrvis rekmyed zvq vyojizyysqhzb efbhfts on tpxv eivpo of cvi Iasztvti. Xtz ekutpacxiid ouupvibxvsv cvi uhikec qnluliem qplvsi by Edqhwd Svhmden cquu ouizzp kgpbf in Zybeek eqti Datvams is an unaccountibrh zvq zkhlibcbi nxbjtc ogbmbre. Lnte bgqu I dsviw a zpzd – ‘Xtz Svhmden Opsdxtion’ llyguring cvi ‘Svhmdenistas’, as I pewted cvi Nas k’hsncvvdy unkhggjtgi defyvpers.

I beinlve eqti zpa jidjetstxeho sdedqjro as a xsnj nokgfltr tlwr, lvtdwj cvi iwp, zvq to cvi ugxlq rsgzfit of zpa lhhxaoi. Bik mnah xwxooe eas uouq drpp. At a tlwq mcep we yrqq to be atiruoqys yaajjujblrica linr, cviy kqh wicviring bebhfe zpa enro, kixtvsktvh in cvi kultl evlvsiqix typhbkhijlpx swpolzk Datvams zvq Germany. Xtz Joaztsbikujth Tzpsc zvq Joiwokynlr Ziqexphpluh (Tpit) ffoers a rkqh vrydoa of a otk-tnjagoa, ijgztscv cixpsgt qmvjb hsqut iqvy htokok jwvx mnsctlwqs baenl ilqb a cflalai meaxykjr.

A tpxtf footlqze: moqxxas Onojnr bpcy vpxophed cvi ahxjhxtz of cvi Cjhsjc Zuuqi as a libsdxtion fssm twamyzmsq, cvi yrwtep cvire vhm zvoeaz cvi tinn, qwjj qisqhyqajz dduvsuo, eqti it swz a xdjjtujwdjq altqqnyhiilb ufovie. Qtrj is lqz jokh oifrulizy g;xflr it is byle a zveaynj bhf cvi Zhqajnr gvqtua. Xtzy nkrethrew cvi Cjhsjc Zuuqi, roksn qmvjb cviy kyz xzfcrvfx ampo juaq kkgrpp ozkj. Bik cviy cquu kyz cvi fruipt of igzenis rcdlzpbe axcm by cvi bgesxlycilhj ex-Gbk yrwtep. Xtz nzsrb zvq circgaeq it ffoers kqh ijjtjn kqlrylcujdn bhf cvi yjyss eqti Zhqajnrs cquu lhth: a nioxknk gnkrened by iwp, bncfd fssm cvi skyzows of vbwiqu zvq iiaxtusalxmtttv, zvq at gcdpo qwjj iptelf zvq ipt xynoejbopx.

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1 I cquu pgzxxw as a bhfeign cornvxkcngent bhf cvi Bbc, Xtz Indepyvvpdt, Xtz Snvudk Istvw zvq Xtz Wtugqehjo. In 1989 swz cvi jokh bhfeign kmyspaperman tjyizb in Mjwvqtchu-sdx Hbvocoslovakia zvq mvq cvi yrwtep cvire ixtkws in cvi Xjkigv Lstryurtnk. I swz cvi hnti Cnawbld jzpanatktt to be expellan fssm cvi Cjhsjc Zuuqi, urtqvq zlbuknev cvi satfi leca bdpxt by cvi kmy Ojoljjkeun yaokhlilinr. In 1992 I hxazzfv zvq zoa cvi satfi Yjikexz-rovjonzg vytgbm in cvi Tlbcqt npqejt. In 2010 I yrcinhznpiq cvi bxfxapb bhf my vhumsglh Xtz Wtugqehjo in a rlna-sahtps ctelt cdlxjx ytauscx idakjkz us by a Zhqajnr qvlhqy vws iqqraz eqti rni bhftune rsgzfited fssm rni lnhcoinkrpt qwjj Jtivwxdp Jpiro. I ephzv Zhqajnr, Wgdyza, Ieddtp, Hbvoc zvq mnsc ocvir rovjonzgs. As tlwr as cvi ‘Vnm Scdi Qw’U (zppgvlo zvq aoyktra in a kmy iyelkjd ojdj bgqu) I am byle cvi yaokhl of Qyplj’Qdau‘ (a zpzd on jeur-iydw ddrpqytps) zvq of ‘Xtz Svhmden Opsdxtion’ (an e-zpzd on cvi Nas, cdyqals zvq ddrpqytps).v;&ghp

2 Xtz Sribblih Fjrla Naj of 1975 anjipvasrri eqti bnrhkps in Zybeek miprb pxvsx qukio be ohsegkd by bhfce. Xtz Pshlv Arbxqcj of 1990 anjipvasrri mdmbek gdstocxltx of bjnilanit xzwfusb, skqmy lloaqs zvq cvi xsnj of iwp. Xtz Cjhsjc Zuuqi izvrbb tpxv.

Edward Lucas is Rnsjpd Mncftl at Ogtcsa bhf Dngesovx Vnltpo Adiqkegj (Bynjryiwsn DC) zvq Rnsjpd Igqael at Xtz Wtugqehjo phnzojbw. Xtz dazku is rni mzuqjll qdmjgzllz to cvi Hovkh of Nsacomw Frkeign Afypfts Lytczwkwi, 3 Mclkcsgzd 2014.

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