Humanitas Bookstore will host on Tuesday, May 24, at 7.00 pm, the launching of the bestseller called “In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond” by Robert D. Kaplan, published at Humanitas Publishing House, within the Contemporary History collection.
Alongside Robert D. Kaplan, there will be present at the event: Simona Kessler – literary agent, International Copyright Agency, Catalin Stefanescu – journalist, producer of the TV show called “Garantat 100%” at TVR, Cristian Leonte – journalist, producer of the TV show “After 20 years” at ProTV, and Lidia Bodea – Humanitas Publishing House General Manager.
The evening will end with an autograph session.
Greatest threat to Romania – a weak Russia, not a strong one
US political analyst Robert Kaplan believes that the greatest threat for Romania isn’t a strong Russia, but a weak one, as this would mean aggression and chaos.
At a conference held at the Romanian Athenaeum, Kaplan said that Russia’s future does not look well if its economic weakening continues and Putin will confront increasingly more domestic challenges. He thus sees Romania’s greatest threat not a strong Russia, but a weak Russia, because that means aggression, a level of chaos, explaining that the weaker Russia gets, the more it will try to destabilise other regions, such as Moldova and Ukraine, and will become increasingly more aggressive in the Baltic area, in the Black Sea area.
He added that from Romania’s perspective as well, things have changed on an international level from 20 years ago and showed that in mid-1990’s NATO was a very powerful alliance and the European Union was dynamic and having no problems, while Russia was weak and chaotic.
Kaplan further made a comparison with the present times, when there is an entirely different situation, showing that Russia is no longer weak and chaotic; it is led by someone with a very determined geopolitical vision, according to which Russia has not been invaded by Hitler and Napoleon only, but also by Swedes, Lithuanians, and Poles. As such, according to Kaplan, Russia needs a buffer area, an influence area in Central and Eastern Europe, which also raises a question mark over NATO.
The US analyst says nonetheless, the situation is not similar to that of the 1940s, as Romania is no longer caught between Hitler and Stalin.
He explained that the situation is much more ambiguous, and although it is not that bleak and hopeless as in 1940, one cannot say that a permanent vacation from history is in place, as people would think back in 1995. He pointed out that what matters the most in the end is Romania’s capacity to strengthen its organisations in a more transparent way, to have more transparent and more powerful organisations for the place to become more attractive to foreign investors, as this strengthens national security.
Kaplan also stated that Russia’s threat no longer entails tanks and fighter aircraft, but subversion, explaining that Russia will try to undermine countries such as Romania through intelligence operations, organised crime, media buying through third parties, all of which weakens the connection with the west and the western tradition of secular democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.
Kaplan also said that Romania should encourage itself and avoid falling to authoritarianism like Hungary, as it is not compromised by weak organisations that are much more likely to fall prey to Russian influences, as it has happened in Bulgaria or Serbia, Romania is quite strong for its region.