China and Russia Seeking to Divide EU and NATO, US Diplomat …

Posted: June 28, 2021 at 10:55 pm

Still, inside European states, Russia is even more directly threatening than China. Russia has attacked Ukraine and Georgia and taken their territories. It occupies part of Moldova right across the border from Romania and without the countrys consent, Volker pointed out.

Just like China, Russia has set out to disrupt societies in the EU and NATO by wielding its influence within certain countries like Slovakia, through bribery, corruption, political parties, disinformation and intelligence services. And it is trying to create an environment where theres no pushback against Russias authoritarianism at home or its regional aggression, Volker ventured.

With several Balkan countries yet to join the EU or NATO, they present fertile ground for Russia to prevent their accession. In the case of Montenegro, Russias even trying to undermine the countrys NATO membership and EU aspirations from within by working with the Serbian Orthodox Church to support an anti-NATO, pro-Russian government, Volker said.

Russia, as Volker concluded, is trying to stop and even reverse the free and peaceful development of Europe that has been the continents direction ever since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. Thats the stakes for countries in the V4 region, where security, economy and democracy have been on the growth pattern for 30 years now. Russia would like to see that reversed.

And yet, in some of the former Warsaw Pact countries which joined NATO after the fall of communism, support for NATO is wavering, according to the GLOBSEC Trends 2021 report.

A quarter of Slovaks and Bulgarians would prefer to leave the organisation, though this number has been higher in the past as support for continuous membership has been steadily increasing despite (or perhaps because of) increasing tensions between Russia and the West, the report reads.

Even in Romania, often viewed as a NATO hawk, support for the organisation has eroded in recent years, with close to 20 per cent of the population wishing to abandon the pact, as opposed to 6 per cent just four years ago.

As sentiments shift, talk of the EU becoming a global military power alongside NATO has intensified, though the US remains concerned about wasteful duplication of military resources, Politico reported the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank with close ties to the Biden administration, as highlighting.

Volker remains hopeful about the prospects for NATO in Europe. I dont think 25 per cent [not supporting NATO] is an outrageous number. It shows theres debate in society. If it were 50 per cent or more, that would be an issue. Im sure that in any kind of crisis the number of people questioning it will fall dramatically, he explained.

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China and Russia Seeking to Divide EU and NATO, US Diplomat ...

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