The game has changed since the West aligned against the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and Russia knows it. America is weaker, and British leaders are captivated by procuring and protecting personal fortunes.
According to Politico Magazine, Russia realized these things before the West knew it had done so. This is why “German diplomats, French Eurocrats, [and] American pundits” were “all stunned” when Russia invaded Ukraine.
Russia saw it coming, but the West did not believe it a possibility.
For years, Russia has been spending money in Europe. Russian rulers “have mansions and luxury flats from London’s West End to France’s Cote d’Azure.” The children of these rulers go to “British and Swiss finishing schools”; their money is “in Austrian banks and British tax havens.”
Russia sees “English bankers… in London… rolling out the red carpet” for money “traceable to illegal activities.” However, the bankers are more focused on the money than the illegal activities.
Behind this corruption, “Russia sees American weakness.” Russia does not believe Europe is “truly independent of the United States,” and it believes the United States has the ability to persuade Europe to act as it did during the Cold War. However, as countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal begin to compete to develop financial relationships with Russia, Russia sees “America’s control over Europe slowly dissolving.”
So “Moscow is not nervous.” Instead, its leaders stand opposite of Europe’s wishes while their money is “locked up in European properties and bank accounts,” as Putin is confident the United States lacks the influence to “force Europe to trade in different way.”
The United States “can do nothing beyond theatrical military maneuvers at most,” and Putin sees no reason to be afraid.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.