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Putin Creating New ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ In Europe – OpEd

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By putting Russian missiles in Kaliningrad and conducting joint exercises with Belarusian forces, Vladimir Putin is creating a new “Cuban missile crisis,” one that threatens Europe and the world and that the Kremlin leader won’t end unless the West takes action to force him to back down, according to Andrey Sannikov.

The leader of the Belarusian opposition campaign, European Belarus, says that “the aggressive actions of Russia now can with complete justification be called ‘the Cuban missile crisis’ in Europe.” Putin has consciously escalated tensions and “one can even speak about preparations for military action,” he says (charter97.org/ru/news/2016/10/8/226350/).

There cannot be any doubt about what Putin is doing or about Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s participation in it, given that the Belarusian leader has declared that he is “prepared to throw the Belarusian army into the defense of the interests of Russia,” Sannikov says, a statement that has ominous implications in the current situation.

Sannikov argues that “European politicians must stop looking for signs of ‘a peace maker’ in the dictator Lukashenka and recognize that the territory of Belarus, thanks to Lukashenka’s regime, is completely part of Russia’s military plans.”

The situation is tense and of real concern, Sannikov says, because “all attempts of the West and above all the US to reach agreement with Putin have led only to an escalation of tension in the world. The unpunished bombing of the peaceful population in Syria by Russian aviation has led only to the further enflaming of the conflict in the Middle East.”

As far as Putin is concerned, Syria is “the best means” for giving Russian forces training for other tasks. And “what the Kremlin is doing today in Europe with the use of the territory of Belarus looks like preparation for a major military operation in which Europe would be invaded via the Suwalki corridor.”

Given what Putin has done in Kaliningrad and with Belarus, “Russia would be able to envelop in ‘a pincers’ a significant part of Central and Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries and Poland,” the Belarusian opposition leader says.

“Western politicians must stop being complacent in their relations with dictators, stop hoping that their aggression will stop on its own, and take adequate measures in order to oppose this aggression,” Sannikov says. Otherwise, the future of Europe and the world is truly going to be bleak.


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Paul Goble

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

4 thoughts on “Putin Creating New ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ In Europe – OpEd

  • October 10, 2016 at 10:23 am
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    Goble, Goble!! I knew it was you from the heading. Are the Americans still spending money on such drivel? What we should pray for is that Russia and Cuba set up a Russian base in Cuba. That should move the pressure point nearer America rather than Europe. We Europeans do not think much of the American/Saudi Arabia alliance.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 10:56 am
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    The author is a biased person.Who gave USA the green light to put sanction on Russia and hurt its people economically?This American aggression is more sever than the so called ‘aggression author says committed by Putin.

    As far as i am concerned(if it has the capability)Russia should have waged war on the west.Who says economic sanctions are a not an act of war?

    Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 12:27 pm
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    Paul Goble’s article is so biased it sickens me to even read his comments.Has Mr. Goble ever thought how many innocent people have the USA killed in Afghanistan, Iraq,Libya and now Syria? It a shame for people like Mr.Goble be so misleading the public.The US went to war in Afghanistan for the Trade Center bombing by the terrorists.They were terrorists because came to the United States for the sole purpose of killing innocent people in New York.I will put the cards on the table and say ,the US has been doing the same all over the world.

    Reply
  • October 10, 2016 at 2:39 pm
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    The US has deployed missiles in Eastern Europe encircling Russia -it is not surprising that Russia has taken action to protect itself from US/NATO encirclement.

    Reply

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