Western Experts forecast Russian "aggression" at the end of the World Cup
Western experts believe that after the end of the 2018 World Cup Russia, as well as after the Sochi Olympics, will take offensive actions in foreign policy. As possible Putin's goals, they call Ukraine, Austria, Italy and Germany.
The authoritative journal Foreign Policy (FP), published by the main think tank of the United States - the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) - is sure that the 2018 World Cup is not the ultimate goal, but only a means to achieve something more important.
FP notes that Vladimir Putin spent years trying to win the right to host the Sochi 2014 Olympics. At the beginning of the global sporting event, when the revolution was unfolding in Ukraine, the Russian president "acted extremely cautiously so as not to divert attention from Sochi." But a week before the closing ceremony, "Putin met with the main figures in the Kremlin" and "sent Russian special forces to the Crimean peninsula four days later," said in his article the former US Representative to the OSCE Daniel Bayer. In his opinion, the same scenario is possible after the World Cup 2018.
The logic that Bayer is trying to convey is that sports events strengthen Russia's image and personal authority of Putin both within the country and in the eyes of the world community, which allows the Kremlin to decide on offensive actions abroad. This time, according to the expert FP, Moscow is in an even more advantageous situation. The day after the 2018 World Cup final, Putin will meet with US President Donald Trump, who is in favor of Russia's return to the G8 and keeps Europe on its toes.
In conclusion, the author lists possible actions of Putin after the end of mundialya: 1) activation in Syria; 2) "completion of work in Ukraine" by expanding the military presence; 3) strengthening cooperation with the governments of Austria and Italy and even 4) attempts to overthrow the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Another, equally respected American political edition The Atlantic is also confident that Russia will certainly use the World Cup to realize its geopolitical ambitions. As the Point of tension The Atlantic sees Ukraine. The article says that "The war for water between Russia and Ukraine can begin after the finals of the World Cup on July 15". In support of this thesis, the author cites the fact of the existence of contradictions on the Black and Azov Seas, as well as the fact that Ukraine hinders the water supply of the Crimea, using the waters of the Dnieper to irrigate the fields affected by drought in Kherson. According to the estimates of the authorities of Kiev, with a summer drought without water, 1.5 out of 2.5 million inhabitants of the peninsula may remain. So the struggle for water resources will cause new hotbeds of conflict between Ukraine and Russia, The Atlantic believes.
Unlike the Atlantic and Foreign Policy, the British magazine The Economist sees in the sports competition is not an instrument for the transition to an offensive, but an opportunity to establish ties with Europe after four years of sanctions.
Of course, it would be foolish to deny that the World Cup strengthens the image of the Kremlin. So, after the victory of the Russian team over Spain, the US newspaper USA Today wrote that, regardless of the performance of his team, Putin already won the World Cup, as he managed to create in the eyes of foreign fans "the impression that this is one of the best championships."
However, the conclusions about the forthcoming "aggression" indicate a biased assessment of the situation.
After all, the so-called "aggressive" actions after a sporting event level out the success that the country is striving for from the World Cup 2018.
The spread rumors of Moscow's imminent offensive are nothing more than an attempt to blame Russia for the crisis that has emerged in the transatlantic camp.
As for the correlation of Sochi with Euromaidan, Western experts exclude the thesis that Russia's foreign policy activity may not be a planned action, but a reaction to provocations and challenges that Washington and Brussels have timed to these same tournaments.