Mikheil Saakashvili, Foreign Policy: Russia’s Next Land Grab Won’t Be in an Ex-Soviet State. It Will Be in Europe.
First he came for Georgia, then for Ukraine. Vladimir Putin’s next target is likely to be a non-NATO nation in the EU.
Not many observers would consider the world’s coldest shipping lane a geopolitical hotspot. But that may be about to change. Last week, reports emerged that a new Kremlin policy will require all international naval ships to give Russia 45 days’ notice before entering the Northern Sea Route, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the Arctic waters north of Siberia. Every vessel on the route, where Russia has invested heavily in sophisticated military infrastructure, will also be required to have a Russian maritime pilot on board. Ships found in violation of these restrictions may be forcibly halted, detained, or—in unspecified “extreme” circumstances—“eliminated.”
The Kremlin’s latest threat has gone largely unnoticed, perhaps because it’s no surprise. Russian officials justify the new naval restrictions with a familiar explanation, claiming that “the more active naval operations in the Arctic of various foreign countries” require such a response.
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WNU Editor: The above author is Mikheil Saakashvili, the former President of Georgia who is now wanted in his former country after being convicted of a number of crimes. His hostility towards Russia is also well known. But as to his theory that the next countries that Russia will “move against” are Finland or Sweden, I am deeply skeptical. There is no border dispute that I am aware of between Finland and Russia, and as for Russia invading and seizing the Swedish island of Gotland, that is wild speculation.
Hat tip to Robert for the above link.