19 June 2018, Tuesday, 13:27

Damon Wilson: Belarus, Ukrainian-Moldovan Border Could Become Putin’s Next Targets


The US expert testified this before the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Executive Vice-President of the Atlantic Council analytical center (USA) Damon Wilson believes that Belarus and Ukraine's border with Moldova can become the next goals of Putin. Wilson said this in his testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Forces, Voice of America reports.

According to Wilson, Russia's tactics are "very deliberate, they know they lose in open confrontation (with the West), so they are trying to attack easy targets, where the West's response may turn out to be weak and ambiguous."

The easiest target for Putin may be Belarus, - the expert believes.

The message reminds that Russia and Belarus are preparing for large-scale military exercises West-2017. Traditionally, these have been the largest exercises in the western military district of Russia in the past, for example, they used them to develop a nuclear strike against Warsaw. Before the exercises there is a significant movement of Russian troops through the territory of Belarus.

"Perhaps they will not leave (after the exercises), perhaps they will do something to tighten the grip around Belarus," - Wilson noted.

In his view, an easy victory would allow Putin to continue playing the nationalist card in domestic politics, demonstrating the greatness of the administration, not waiting for the West's reaction, unlike the Donbas, which turned into a big problem for Putin.

The second possible area of destabilization, according to the expert, is the cordon of Ukraine and Moldova.

Now there is an agreement between Moldova and Ukraine, in the end, to establish control at the border in the east of Transnistria. Under this arrangement, the Ukrainians will allow the Moldovan frontier guards to settle on the territory of Ukraine, since they cannot be on the territory of Transnistria. It will be convenient for controlling illegal flows across the border, and will limit the freedom of maneuvers for Russia.

"I do not think that Russia will do it with ease," – Wilson concluded.