American author and strategist Robert Kaplan warns Romania about subversive rather than direct threats
Romania must be vigilant against subversive threats from Russia, rather than worry about direct military action, says veteran journalist, author and geopolitical analyst Robert Kaplan.
Kaplan made the comments - quoted by Agerpres - while in Romania to launch a new book "The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate”.
"I suppose that Putin, being an intelligence officer, and not a boring clerk, knows that Article 5 of the NATO Treaty protects NATO members against a ground invasion, but it does not protect against subversive actions, against intelligence services, against imperialism through energy companies, rather than through the Red Army,” Kaplan told an audience including Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean, SIE director Teodor Melescanu and PSD Senator Mircea Geoana.
“Thereby, I believe that the strategic challenge for Romania and its neighbours is to protect themselves not against an immediate action of Russia, but against a slow subversive action over the next five years,” he added, quoted by Agerpres.
Kaplan, the chief geopolitical analyst for intelligence firm Stratfor, added that Russia, taking advantage of the EU’s prolonger economic woes, wanted to increase its influence and create a traditional buffer zone in central and eastern Europe and not trying to revive the Warsaw Pact.
He called this "finlandizing" Central and Eastern Europe, that is , he states in this region have a similar status to that of Finland during the Cold War, when the country's policies were influenced by the Soviet Union.
Kaplan, whose book Balkan Ghosts became an influential text on the region, said Romania was well placed geographically and in terms of resources, however its growth and business development relied on the strengthening of its institutions.
Robert Kaplan also met Romanian president Traian Basescu last week - both pictured.
Shaun Turton [email protected]