Russian President Vladimir Putin should worry Europe more than ISIS does, according to a piece by George Soros published on Thursday in the Guardian. A taste:
The leaders of the US and the EU are making a grievous error in thinking that president Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a potential ally in the fight against Islamic State. The evidence contradicts them. Putin’s aim is to foster the EU’s disintegration, and the best way to do so is to flood Europe with Syrian refugees.
Russian planes have been bombing the civilian population in southern Syria, forcing them to flee to Jordan and Lebanon. There are now 20,000 Syrian refugees camped out in the desert awaiting admission to Jordan. A smaller number are waiting to enter Lebanon. Both groups are growing.
It’s a compelling and important argument. As we noted in a previous post:
Putin is no fool: He can see how the refugee crisis is destabilizing Europe in general, and the authority of Mrs. Merkel in particular. This morning, the head of the Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Relations speculated openly that Mr. Putin was inflaming the refugee crisis in Aleppo deliberately to topple the Chancellor. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds: Certainly, the Kremlin’s disinformation programs have been riling up Germany’s domestic debate (not that it needs much help there, after Cologne), and Putin must have been aware of the strategic value of the refugees since he first entered Syria.
If you haven’t already, you should read the whole Soros piece.