Russia has shown Turkey and China how to successfully bully the European Union, Nicu Popescu, the director of the Wider Europe Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said in an article for EUobserver on Thursday.
“The West’s usually meek reactions to Russia’s diplomatic, cyber, propaganda, and intelligence skirmishing with Russia has taught everyone willing to challenge the United States or bully Europe should not be too shy,” Popescu said.
Russia has excelled at achieving its aggressive goals “by pushing the limits of the internationally acceptable with such apparent ease”, and Moscow made such behaviour increasingly appealing to Turkey and China, he said.
China has switched its international outreach from self-advertising aid diplomacy into an assertive, proactive, and high-profile strategy, dubbed ‘wolf-warrior diplomacy’, while Turkey’s intervention in Libya is not unlike the Russian intervention in Syria, he said.
“The more meekly the United States and especially the EU handle such aggressive tactics, the more other powers will feel tempted to imitate each other in novel ways to ignore, challenge and openly attack EU and U.S. interests.”