Putin endeavors to erect barriers to adversaries and buffer zones in The Balkans.
In regard to protecting Russian interests in the Balkans, Russian President Vladimir Putin opts for similar covert operations techniques used by Great Britan during the early 1950s, behind the Iron Curtain.
Putin´s method is to promote instability in select geostrategic regions in which Russia seeks to avert further NATO accessions.
Mr. Putin’s objective is to maintain traditional Russian buffer zones, and where practicable, to expand those zones opportunistically.
He sees the Balkans as a Russia-predominant sphere of influence, in which Russia historically has competed for hegemony with European and Turkish interests.
He also seeks to insulate Russian economic interests in the region along with geopolitical ones.
The Balkans region represents an increasingly important geopolitical bridge for Russian energy pipelines to Western Europe, especially as Russia looks to rebalance its energy transit corridor away from Ukraine.
Thus, the Balkans can be said to represent, at the same time, a Russian geopolitical buffer zone and an economic staging ground. It is classic Mackinder: Russia, as a great power, endeavors to erect barriers to adversaries and buffer zones for itself.
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