Survey: Russia's Campaign To Influence Central, Eastern Europe
Russia has launched a behind-the-curtains campaign of economic and political measures in order to manipulate five countries in Central and Eastern Europe, to discredit the Western liberal democratic model and undermine transatlantic relations, showed a survey of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and the Bulgarian Center for the Study of Democracy.
The survey, cited by Reuters, claims that Moscow is using local politicians sympathising with Russia for this purpose. It aims at dominating energy markets and other economic sectors, and undermines anti-corruption measures. In this way, Russia is trying to influence the governments of Bulgaria, Hungary, Latvia, Serbia and Slovakia.
“In some countries, Russian influence is so profound and widespread that it calls into question national stability, as well as the pro-Western orientation of the country and Euroatlantic stability as a whole,” read the survey called The Kremlin Playbook: Understanding Russian Influence in Central and Eastern Europe.
The survey points out several concrete steps on the part of Russia aimed at expanding its influence in the region. These include megaprojects like the contract for two new nuclear reactors in Hungary worth EUR 12.2 B which contains some very unclear conditions. The “breeding” of pro-Russian businessmen and supporting them in reaching political level positions is also mentioned.
Russian economic presence in Bulgaria is estimated at 22% of GDP for the period 2005-2014 which “”exposes the country to the risk of an invasion influenced by Russia.
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