Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Russian Expansionism

"When it comes to Russia's diplomatic mission in 2013 the number of intelligence officers working undercover as diplomats was extremely high."
"They are complemented by intelligence officers who travel to the Czech Republic as individuals, posing as tourists, experts, academics and entrepreneurs."
"The Cold War and he Soviet Union may have passed, but same is not true for Russia's passion for trying to gain influence and taking active measures (such as the use of agents) to achieve this."
Czech Republic Security Information Service

"In Poland's neighbourhood there is a risk of conflict, of a regional or local characteristic, that may involve us directly or indirectly. [War is] unlikely but possible."
Polish security strategy

"The geopolitical situation has changed. We have the biggest crisis of security since the Cold War and we must draw conclusions from that."
Tomaz Siemoniak, Polish Defence Minister

Poland is to purchase 40 medium-range missiles from the US as the Ukraine crisis sees eastern European countries double-down on military spendingPolish President Bronislaw Komorowski, right, and US President Barack Obama in a hangar at Warsaw Chopin Airport last JunePolish President Bronislaw Komorowski, right, with US President Barack Obama in Warsaw last June Photo: Janek Skarzynski/AFP

Even while Russian President Vladimir Putin rails hysterically about the United States' actions in the Middle East and around the world interfering in the affairs of other states and destabilizing world order, he complacently insists that Moscow has had no hand in Ukraine's affairs, has not incited Russian-speakers in Ukraine's east to defy the Lyvov authority, and engage in violent conflict with Ukraine's military, and makes no mention of Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

But Russia's near neighbours are beyond uneasy. That Russia is said to have deployed an "extremely high" number of intelligence officers at its Czech embassy last year, revealed by a secret service report, serves to further strain diplomacy in eastern and northern Europe. Moscow's ambitions and its temperamental president's goads and interferences in the affairs of his neighbours have made for some extremely uneasy conversations among adjoining nations.

On the eastern flank of the European Union and NATO are those vital pipelines with Russian energy crossing European soil and central and eastern European states gazing nervously at one another worrying about the increasing attention they have been subjected to covertly from spies reporting to the Kremlin. Poland arrested two people, one a high-ranking army officer on suspicion of working for a foreign power; Russia.

The new Polish security strategy just released stated the belief that conflict could be afflicting Poland for the first time since 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Polish security had previously felt there was a risk of regional conflicts, but none that would involve Poland. It has now altered its perceptions, planning to move thousands of troops to the east in response to the continuing conflict in Ukraine.

Labels: , , , ,

Follow @rheytah Tweet