Staunton, January 8 – Igor Eidman, a Russian sociologist and commentator based in Germany, says that “the greatest world threat” in the coming year is “the spread of Putinism” as a result of the cooperation of right-wing groups with the Kremlin dictator, a threat that will only grow if he manages to “remove German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
Eidman’s comments came during an interview with Boris Reitschuler for the German publication “Focus” (focus.de/politik/ausland/wichtigste-taktische-aufgabe-kremlkritischer-soziologe-behauptet-putin-will-kanzlerin-merkel-stuerzen_id_6458005.html; in Russian and Ukrainian at gordonua.com/news/worldnews/samaya-bolshaya-mirovaya-ugroza-2017-goda-eto-raspolzanie-putinizma-eydman-167998.html).
Putin is “actively interfering in the elections of various countries,” the Russian sociologist says; but his “chief tactical” target at present is Merkel because of her critical attitude toward Putin’s actions in Ukraine and elsewhere and her ability to influence other Europeans in support of those positions.
“If in the 2017 German elections” which are to take place in the fall, Putin “succeeds in ‘torpedoing’ Merkel, anti-Russian sanctions likely will be lifted, and the policy of the EU regrading Russia changed significantly.” Indeed, in that event, Putin would become the dominant player in Europe, making any concerted Western opposition to his policies almost impossible.
And together with the tectonic shift resulting from the victory of a pro-Moscow candidate in the United States, such a result would give substance to Putin’s desire to be the most important figure in international affairs, even neither his aggression nor the state of his own country justifies such an outcome.