MEP Márton Gyöngyösi’s (Non-attached) thoughts via press release:
Now that Moscow has just kicked its aggression against Ukraine and the western world up a notch with the latest mobilization, you may think it’s too early to contemplate what will happen in Russia after the war (and President Vladimir Putin’s rule) is over, but it’s actually quite important to form a European strategy if we don’t want to see a nuclear-weapon state sink into total anarchy right next door.
Apart from the Putin regime’s cronies in Budapest, everybody else clearly understands that Russia’s situation is deteriorating day by day, and Moscow is bound to lose the war in the end. The signs are written on the wall: Russia’s economic hardships are getting worse and worse, Putin decided to take the political risks of ordering a military mobilization, and the military-age population is fleeing the country in a frenzy, charging at airports and border stations.
Thousands of articles are being written these days about how Russia is becoming more and more unsustainable due to the sanctions and the international isolation.
However, we don’t give enough thought to what will happen in Russia if Moscow loses the war and the fall likely brings down Vladimir Putin’s regime as well. As a matter of fact, this question is highly important, not just for political but security reasons, too. The chaos of the Soviet Union’s final days and the still unsolved ethnic conflicts dating back to that period clearly show what we should expect if this continent-size country sinks into anarchy. To make matters worse, Russia would, even after a lost war, still retain a significant military potential and, most importantly, a nuclear arsenal. Who will take control of these military assets: a new pro-western Russian government aiming for a peaceful resolution, or an even more hardcore anti-western regime than Putin’s was? Or will perhaps the country sink into total anarchy and break into smaller parts?
Soon it won’t be enough to simply position yourself against Putin’s genocidal regime.
Europe will have to present an alternative course to Russia, both politically and economically. Western governments need to find a new group of potential allies in the Russian society, just as they have already done in terms of Belarus. No matter how small that group may be, its existence is palpable.
I believe that Russia’s long-term pacification can’t be implemented in any other way than how post-World War II Germany was integrated into the western alliance.
Regardless how absurd this idea may sound at the moment or how much we are looking forward to the fall of Putin’s regime and the defeat of the Russian military, we must understand that the struggle for Russia’s future course will begin in the morning after the peace treaty is signed.
As far as Moscow’s future is concerned, Europe is interested in a European, democratic Russia that does not repeat the mistakes of the 1990s, which led the country straight into Putinism.
As a Hungarian, let me add a side note here: it’s also high time we started thinking about what Europe should do with Viktor Orbán’s pro-Putin regime, which is ever more clearly bent on serving Putin’s interest, thus taking hostage not just the Hungarian nation but the whole of Europe as well…
Disclaimer: the sole liability for the opinions stated rests with the author(s). These opinions do not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Parliament.