The long whimper

Mary Dejevsky keeps telling her “Western” readers that they don’t understand Putin but never asks whether the man actually thrives on misunderstanding and confusion – other people’s confusion, of course. Writing in The Financial Times (a surprise to me), she is now claiming that Moscow does not want the EU to disintegrate because the fallout would threaten regional stability and, therefore, Russia’s security.

On a side note, Moscow has made some high-risk moves since 2008, most notably the attack on Ukraine: the worst-case outcome was more than just a little regional instability. That quibble aside, I agree that Moscow does not want united Europe to explode with a bang. But that does not take a veteran Russia watcher to figure out.

The Kremlin and the Old Square hate big-bang chaos but love manageable instability, especially when they dominate the management committee. A long, winding, whimpering death march? Possibly. Russia’s allies marching through the union’s institutions? Even better. A perpetual, low-grade, debilitating war of all against all under the star-circled banner? Possibly.

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