Interview published by Ager{Press
May 23, 2016

Foreign policy analyst Robert Kaplan believes that the greatest threat to Romania does not constitute a strong Russia, but a weak one, adding that this would mean "aggression and chaos."

"Russia's future does not look good (...) if continued economic weakening and Putin will face increasingly more challenges internally. The threat largest for Romania is not a strong Russia, but a weak Russia because it means aggression, a level of chaos. (...) the more Russia becomes weaker, the more it will try to destabilize other regions, Moldova and Ukraine, and will become increasingly more aggressive in the Baltic in the Black Sea area," Kaplan said Monday at a Romanian Athenaeum conference.

He recalled that, including Romania's perspective, things have changed internationally compared to the situation 20 years ago. Robert Kaplan pointed out that the mid-90s, NATO was a very strong alliance and the European Union was "dynamic and smooth", while Russia was "weak and chaotic".

"Now, if we go forward 20 years, in 2016 we have? We have a very different situation. Russia weak and chaotic is run by someone with a very determined geopolitical vision (...) that Russia was invaded by Hitler and Napoleon, and the Swedes, Lithuanians, Poles. Therefore, Russia needs a buffer zone, a zone of influence in central and eastern Europe, a question mark and on NATO," said Kaplan.

The US analyst argues, however, that the situation is not the same as in the '40s, "Romania is no longer caught between Hitler and Stalin."

"The situation is more ambiguous. There's so dark and not so hopeless as it was, say, in 1940, but we can not say that you've got a permanent holiday from history, as thought people in 1995. I think ultimately what matters most is Romania's ability to strengthen its institutions in a way more transparent, more transparent and stronger institutions for becoming more attractive place for foreign investors because this strengthens national security, "said Robert Kaplan.

In his opinion, "the Russian threat is not tanks and combat aircraft, but subversion". According to the American analyst, Russia will try to undermine countries like Romania through operations intelligence by organized crime by buying media through third parties, all of which "weaken the link with the west and with the tradition of western democracy secular in Central and Eastern Europe" .

"Romania should do their courage would be to fall into authoritarianism as Hungary is not compromised by weak institutions which are more likely to fall prey to the influences of Russian, as happened in Bulgaria or Serbia. Romania given the region where they are, is quite strong, "said Kaplan.

Agerpres / Catalin Alexandru editor: Karina Olteanu, online editor Adrian Dadarlat

Robert D. Kaplan (rt) received Alianta "Special Achievement Award" (October 2015)

Kaplan is the best-selling author of sixteen books on foreign affairs and travel that have been translated into many languages, including Asia's Cauldron, The Revenge of Geography, Monsoon, The Coming Anarchy, and Balkan Ghosts. He is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a contributing editor at The Atlantic, where his work has appeared for three decades. He was chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor, a visiting professor at the United States Naval Academy, and a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board. Foreign Policy magazine twice named him one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers.