In a recent article I shared via MNI Alive Media, I explained my views that in light of all the political chaos presently taking place in the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin seemingly is the real winner.
Evidence has not yet emerged as to whether Putin did collude with Trump’s campaign to rig the 2016 U.S elections in Trump's favour. However, the distraction of that possibility presents a political opportunity for Putin.
President Putin’s designs of returning Russia to global political and military dominance has both been aided, and also to a degree has been thwarted, at the same time.
When Putin encroached on sovereign Ukrainian territory in 2014, taking Crimea - the cry for war was loud. History and geo-political dynamics were against such a war ever taking place though.
Historically, Europe has not seen an all out war on its lands across multiple fronts since World War Two ended.
The bigger consideration that has been taking place in full sight, is that the Russian military advance into Crimea and Syria; in addition to their increased friendship with China and Iran has all been a strategic move by President Putin - directly correlating to what is taking place politically right now in the United States.
Increasingly, as this U.S Trumpfest drags on, Putin is salivating at the perception of diminished U.S clout, and internal political turmoil taking place in the U.S.
This massive distraction presents Putin with the window of opportunity to do what he desires - even more than he was before - in terms of his designs on cementing Russian influence geo-politically and militarily within his direct sphere of influence.
The destabilizing of the West that is taking place is somewhat of an axis of uncertainty.
Allow me to explain.
BREXIT has worked remarkably well in Putin’s favour. The European Union as a united force would have remained a staunch barrier to Putin making any further power plays beyond what he has already tried in Ukraine/Crimea and Syria. Putin needed the EU to be weakened. What better gift was handed to him than the UK voting to leave the European Union.
The present dilemma of terms of separation for Britain from the EU; coupled with the sudden calling of elections in the UK; and also powerful voices in Scotland demanding another referendum vote on leaving the United Kingdom – all these developments have factored in a massive period of uncertainty both within the United Kingdom, and also within the EU.
Will the EU survive with Britain leaving? Would other countries within the Union have followed suit?
A weakening of the EU would be a zero shots fired gift to Putin.
He may have been salivating at the BREXIT, secretly hoping that France would have been next to follow. For a moment with Marine Le Pen talking that similar rhetoric of possibly taking France out of the EU, there was a genuine fear that the EU was about to be weakened further with any Le Pen victory.
Emmanuel Macron winning the French Presidency; re-affirming his support of France remaining in the EU - this has dimmed any hopes Putin may have had on a fragmented EU, with the possibility of collapse.
The axis of uncertainly I earlier referenced, now becomes complete, as the United States and Trump’s bullish behaviour have been a perfect addition to shift the focus of the U.S Media and the political directorate towards their internal problems.
Putin would be happy for Trump to continue making his repeated errors as a novice political operative. The more Trump trips himself, the more diminished America becomes in the eyes of the world. Additionally, the more distracted the U.S becomes, focussing on fixing its own drama.
Furthermore, with the U.S Justice Department on Thursday May 18th, opting to appoint a special counsel in Former FBI Head, Robert Mueller, to investigate whether there had been contact between Trump campaign and Russia; Trump now appears increasingly nervous and his language too has become very circumspect.
In a joint press conference with the Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos he stated; “I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt. There is no collusion – certainly myself and my campaign – but I can always speak for myself and the Russians – zero.
Trump cannot help himself though, as he adds more fuel to the fire with comments such as one he made today stating; “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign and Obama administration, there was never a special councel appointed!”
He went on to mention; “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
With Trump fuelling the flames with his full flair and rhetoric, all these developments combine to give Putin the perfect segue to work on cementing his influence with his immediate neighbours, and to further advance his dream of The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
Putin has an opening. The question is - how will he utilise it?
Note: Jeevan A. Robinson is Editor-in-Chief at Marketing, News & Information Media - MNI Alive Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org