Quote of the Week: Putin will go as far as Europe allows him to go
In an interview with the NZZ, Belarusian writer Sasha Filipenko says: “Basically, the West is doing exactly what Putin expected it to do, except that Putin may be surprised by the extent of the sanctions.
And he didn’t expect Ukraine to resist so fiercely.”
On the other hand, Putin’s assessment that the West would continue to do business with Russia proved correct: “Despite sanctions, tens of billions of euros have flown to Russia for the purchase of oil and gas since the start of the war.”
Putin can count on the fact that energy for European homes will always be more important than freedom for Ukrainians and Russians.
The message to Putin is that he “can count on the fact that energy for European homes will always be more important than freedom for Ukrainians and Russians.”
Filipenko fears “that Poland or Lithuania, which could be Russia’s next targets, could not count on being backed by the EU either.”
He expects that Putin will wait to see “how far Europe is willing to go in raising the stakes on its part.”
He affirmes that “Putin will go as far as Europe allows him to go.”
On a sobering note, Filipenko adds: “And my feeling now is not that Europe would have an enormous problem with Putin taking the countries that were previously part of the Soviet Union.”
Interview with Sasha Filipenko, Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), Wednesday, 22 June, 2022, page 32
(translated from German).