Russia’s Influence on Europe
November 13, 2014
The transatlantic community awoke on March 18, 2014, to a strategic surprise: the Russian Federation, a “strategic partner” of the European Union, had formally annexed Crimea. This was an event not seen since Adolf Hitler annexed Austria in 1938. On that same day, Vladimir Putin articulated a new guiding doctrine for Russian foreign policy, stating that Moscow will preemptively act to “protect” ethnic Russians wherever they live. This policy became reality as Russia quickly moved to destabilize
eastern Ukraine in support of pro-Russian separatists.