Since the emergence of ‘failed states’ in the Middle East and North Africa region driven by the so-called “Arab Spring” events, Russia has actively endeavoured to expand its influence across the region. In Libya – the country, which has suffered from bloody sectarian wars since 2011 and thus, became a terrorist haven, seemingly is a new target of Russian expansion. This expansion is driven by its economic interests as a major oil producer and supplier of arms, and by history.
Dr. Giedrius Česnakas, is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy at Vytautas Magnus University
Fuad Shahbazov (FS): Russia has become a strong headache for the North Atlantic Alliance once again, how would you estimate the current relationship between Russia and NATO?
Giedrius Česnakas (GČ): From my perspective, Russia, with its aggressive actions missed an opportunity to become normal regional power, to become a reliable partner of the West against raising China, which form my perspective, is the greatest threat to Russia. Being partner and not an adversary of NATO Russia could “soften” NATO, and make much more impact that it does today. While Russia was cooperating with NATO, threat from Moscow in NATO was perceived as a delusion of the Baltic States. Before the occupation and annexation of Crimea, NATO was losing itself, it was not sure about its role and causes of existence. After Russia’s aggression NATO found the basis for its existence once again, found reassurance in its role, and started to make its military presence in the states that joined after 1999 more noticeable.
It would seem that possibilities for deep cooperation between NATO and Russia are lost for a very long time, however, mutual fight against terrorism could lead to some cooperation, but it would not be deep. Oxumağa davam et Q&A with Giedrius Česnakas: Russia, and the West