Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

EU/NATO expansion vs Russian (military) expansion

29 May 2019


Everybody must have heard the question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? This question represents a causality dilemma. Wiki: “The dilemma stems from the observation that all chickens hatch from eggs and all chicken eggs are laid by chickens”. Is EU/NATO expansion and Russian (military) expansion another causality dilemma?

For some time, I’ve been wondering whether Russian military expansion (eg, AbkhaziaCrimea, South Ossetia, eastern Ukraine) and continued eastern expansion by EU and NATO are related. If they are related then what is the cause and what is the consequence?? EU and NATO are likely to claim that their expansion is a consequence of Russian aggression.

The Wiki list of wars involving Russia already starts in the 830s. It feels appropriate to ignore (i) the long list of historical events before the Russian Revolution of 1917 and (ii) the long list of territorial conflicts between WW1 and WW2.

During WW2, eastern European countries fought together with Russia against the German invasion. However, Russia never left these eastern European countries after German defeat. Furthermore, Russia crushed national guerilla wars (Baltics 1944-1956), revolutions (eg, Hungary-1956), uprisings (eg, east Germany-1953), and invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968.

The Russian trauma of being invaded by France (1812) and Germany (1941) is mirrored by the trauma of the Russian post-WW2 occupation in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.

The Russian trauma may explain its military interference in other nations, while the Baltic and Eastern European traumas do explain their formal requests to join EU and NATO.

Hence, both Russian military expansion in its Eastern European periphery, and the EU / NATO nonmilitary expansion into Eastern Europe may be viewed as defensive moves, although both may also be viewed as aggressive. Latter is in the eye of the beholder.

Russia may indeed feel cornered by the ongoing Eastern European expansion by EU and NATO. However, it’s (very) hard to see military expansion as not aggressive. EU/NATO expansion is at the formal request of countries. Hence, Russia is now interfering in the elections of such countries (eg, BrookingsFTRFERL).

“The attitude of the West and of Russia towards a crisis like Ukraine is diametrically different. The West is trying to establish the legality of any established border. For Russia, Ukraine is part of the Russian patrimony.” A quote by Henry Kissinger (b.1923), American statesman.

Russian Roulette (2009) by Rihanna

artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

And you can see my heart beating 

Oh, you can see it through my chest 

Said I’m terrified, but I’m not leaving 

Know that I must pass this test 

So just pull the trigger

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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