July 10, 2014

Why Moldova Urgently Matters

By Robert D. Kaplan

"NATO's Article 5 offers little protection against Vladimir Putin's Russia," Iulian Fota, Romania's presidential national security adviser, told me on a recent visit to Bucharest. "Article 5 protects Romania and other Eastern European countries against a military invasion. But it does not protect them against subversion," that is, intelligence activities, the running of criminal networks, the buying-up of banks and other strategic assets, and indirect control of media organs to undermine public opinion. Moreover, Article 5 does not protect Eastern Europe against reliance on Russian energy. As Romanian President Traian Basescu told me, Romania is a somewhat energy-rich island surrounded by a Gazprom empire. The president ran his finger over a map showing how Romania's neighbors such as Bulgaria and Hungary were almost completely dependent on Russian natural gas, while Romania -- because of its own hydrocarbon reserves -- still has a significant measure of independence. In the 21st century, the president explained, Gazprom is more dangerous than the Russian army. The national security adviser then added: "Putin is not an apparatchik; he is a former intelligence officer," implying that Putin will act subtly. Putin's Russia will not fight conventionally for territory in the former satellite states, but unconventionally for hearts and minds, Fota went on. "Putin knows that the flaw of the Soviet Union was that it did not have soft power."

Read the full article at Real Clear World.

  • Podcast
    • January 17, 2020
    Rose Gottemoeller on NATO, Arms Control, and a Career in Civil Service

    Rose Gottemoeller, former Deputy Secretary General of NATO, joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss the the state of the Alliance, arms control, and the challe...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Rose Gottemoeller

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • January 17, 2020
    Putin Is Following the Game Plan of Other Autocrats Before Him

    All of the sudden, the transition of power in Russia has begun. In his annual state of the nation speech on Jan. 15, Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised many by proposi...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor

  • Podcast
    • January 16, 2020
    The entire Russian government just resigned

    Zack, Jenn, and Alex talk about the recent resignation of Russia’s entire government — yes, you read that right. Guest Andrea Kendall-Taylor helps the team get a hold on...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor

  • Podcast
    • January 10, 2020
    Vladimir Milov on Russian Politics

    Vladimir Milov, Russian politician and former Visiting Scholar with the Carnegie Endowment, joins Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss Russian opposition politics...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Vladimir Milov

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia