Michael Fallon is worried about Vladimir Putin repeating his tactics in Ukraine with other countries. The Defence Secretary told newspapers that he was ‘worried about his pressure on the Baltics, the way he is testing Nato’. This morning Nick Clegg said that while there was ‘no evidence right now’ that the Russian President was seeking to do the same in the Baltic states, ‘we should be vigilant when a leader of a nation like Russia starts throwing his weight around in the way that he does, in such an arbitrary and acceptable way, of course we need to be vigilant’.
So what is Putin’s strategy? Well, in this week’s Spectator, Anne Applebaum examines the Russian President’s plan to draw a new Iron Curtain across Europe. She writes that Putin and his colleagues are trying to pick apart the whole post-Cold War settlement, writing:
‘Can Vladimir Putin really pick all of this apart? Well, while most of us weren’t watching, he has certainly tried. We’ve spent the past decade arguing about Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, almost anything but Russia. Meanwhile, Russia has been pursuing a grand strategy designed to delegitimise Nato, undermine the EU, split the western alliance and, above all, reverse the transitions of the 1990s.’
You can read the full piece, which outlines how Putin is trying to achieve his ambitions, here.