The population of most countries in Central Europe relates to
Russia favorably. This is stated in the report of the Atlantic Council
seen by the RT. Moreover, the people of Bulgaria and Slovakia believe that
the threat rather comes from Washington, not Moscow. According to the authors
of the document, this “worrying trend” supposedly can be a result of “Russian
disinformation”. They call for a more active containment of Russia,
I advise you to create more tools of control over information
space and strengthen “democratic institutions”. Experts believe that
The United States once again used the myth of “Russian threat” to strengthen
its influence in the countries of Central Europe and to improve the position of NATO in the region.

The Atlantic Council of the United States is concerned that residents in some
European countries consider the US a bigger threat than Russia. This is stated in
a recent report by the influential American think tank.

“In some Central European countries there is a disturbing
a trend that can be associated with the Russian misinformation. Is
it is that the USA began to be perceived in a negative light… Even worse is that
in Bulgaria and Slovakia increased the number of those who see in the United States more serious
threat to their country, than in Russia”, — stated in the document that
reviewed RT.

A new report by the Atlantic Council entitled
“The United States and Central Europe: the second century of cooperation”, was
prepared in cooperation with the Bratislava-based non-profit organization
GLOBSEC. She presented the results of sociological surveys about the attitude
citizens of Central Europe to NATO and the perception of Russia and the USA.

According to these data, in 2017 the support of the membership
The North Atlantic Alliance has increased in all the countries where the studies were:
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. In the current year this
the figure for the first time exceeded 50% in Slovakia and 90% in Poland. Austria
the authors of the report also brought to Central Europe, but it is not included in
NATO, because its residents did not answer this question.

At the same time, the question of which country — Russia or the United States — poses a threat, the people of Central Europe responded differently. More
half of Austrians, Bulgarians, Hungarians applies to both countries soon
positively than negatively.

While in Bulgaria, those who fear the chief ally
NATO, more than the opponents of Moscow: 25% vs 7%. The situation is similar in
Slovakia, 41% of respondents believe the threat to the United States and only 26% — Russia.

Only in Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic the majority of the population
definitely believe that the threat comes from Russia. Results of this
research Atlantic Council and relates to the number of “worrying trends”.

The zone of influence

As noted in a conversation with RT, the Director of the Center for geopolitical
expert political analyst Valery Korovin, the concerns of American experts called
fear of losing control over Central Europe.

“Even minimal sympathy for the Central European countries and their
elites to Russia, according to the Americans, threatened that Europe emerges from under
American geopolitical control — said Korovin. They think in
the logic of opposition of two types of civilizations: the Atlanticist line center
where are the United States, and the Eurasian — at its center is Russia.
As for the geopolitical importance of the Central European region tremendously for
Eurasia. The U.S. is considering it as a springboard for further advance deep into
continent.”

In turn, associate Professor of MGIMO (University) Kirill Koktysh noted that
Central European countries is closely bordered by such important for Russia
States like Ukraine and Belarus, as the conductor of the American
policy in this area.

“As a symbolic area of influence of the Central Europe is very
important,” — says the analyst.

According to Valery Korovin, despite the fact that most
countries in the region for 20 years as NATO, the United States understands that the Euro-Atlantic
solidarity is now experiencing not the best times.

“Increasingly raises the question of whether the American
presence in Europe to such an extent and what is the usefulness of NATO,” —
the expert notes.

Recipes to counter

According to analysts of the Atlantic Council, leadership now
the US position in Europe is called into question. On both sides of the Atlantic is growing
dissatisfaction with the economic problems it is becoming increasingly apparent
disappointment in the functioning of government institutions or even in the principles
Western democracy, as well as increased nationalist tendencies. The connection between
The old world and the United States are subjected to further tests after coming to power
President trump. The United States is no longer the only superpower, and their
interests, including in Central Europe, a challenge to Russia and China.

Against this background, Russia allegedly uses a “whole set
tools of hybrid war”, trying to spread in the countries of Central Europe
doubts about the Euro-Atlantic orientation. Moscow is said to
supposedly exploits existing challenges: euroscepticism and dissatisfaction of
migrants, disappointment in the results of economic reforms that promoted
West, complex interethnic relations, and territorial disputes. Yes
and failure in Afghanistan and Iraq, a serious blow to the prestige of Washington.

The American research center calls for
the more active containment of Russia and expansion of the networks of influence of the United
States in Europe. On the one hand, to strengthen cooperation
Americans with institutions of civil society Central European countries. With
the other together with “governing structures of the EU” to form an additional
the instruments of control over the information space, introducing “new standards
transparency and integrity in social networks”, “which can be spent on
exposing and blocking dummy accounts.”

At the economic level concerns at the Atlantic Council
is the existence of strong ties between Russia and Central European countries in
the field of energy. So, for a long time Ponirovskaya “Nord stream — 2”
Slovakia after the visit of Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini in Russia 4-7
June expressed a desire to join this project, and “Turkish
the stream”. Actively cooperate with Russia in the energy sector Hungary and Austria.

Alternatively, Russian and Chinese at the same time
projects in the field of Economics the Atlantic Council proposes to develop
focused on the United States cooperative projects. For example, the “Initiative three
seas”, proposed in 2015, leaders of Croatia and Poland. Now this
integration involving 12 EU countries, located in the space
between the Baltic, Black and Adriatic seas.

Last week, during a regular summit of the group in
the capital of Slovenia Ljubljana were discussed the prospects of creating a gas
corridor “North — South”, which would allow us to distribute liquefied
gas terminal on the Adriatic and in the Baltic sea across the continent.

Watch the democracy!

Another measure of opposition from Russia, according to the authors
The Atlantic Council, is the strengthening of democratic institutions in
Central European countries with the United States. But in this field
Washington recommended to proceed with caution so as not to encounter
accusations of meddling in the Affairs of sovereign States.

“Instilling democratic values arising from the General
historical experience, values and experience of the struggle against communism, it is necessary
to form such a view of US that would strengthen their position in the light of
expect accusations of “foreign intervention,” the report notes.

In addition, Americans are not recommended in most
occasions to publicly Express concern about the problems with human rights in
Eastern European countries and less affect in the relations with the countries
region issues-abortion legislation, the controversial aspects of the history or
the attitude of the citizens of Central Europe towards migrants. According to the authors of the report,
open too promotion of a liberal agenda in countries where much
the conservative worldview, can go to the Washington side.

“Trying to take on everything the US can fail in
all,” reads the report.

As noted by Kirill Koktysh, for the United States
“democracy is a situation when after the elections can influence the formation
the authorities in the right country”. According to Valery Korovin, stated in the report
Atlantic Council strategy of consolidating democracy aimed primarily
to undermine the sovereignty of Central European countries.

“The U.S. attempts to influence civil society are the act
aggression against the countries of Europe, because it is part of the so-called strategy
network war — said Korovin. — That is, capture States without the use
conventional arms, but only through their impact on public opinion
the purpose of the pressure from companies on the current government and thus influence
of the solution”.

“Expendable”

Under the pretext of countering Russia the Atlantic Council
offers to increase the American military presence in Europe and strengthen
the us involvement in common projects with EU countries on those
areas where EU projects — PESCO (European defence Union) and EDF
(European defence Fund), in their opinion, threaten NATO.

“Given the fact that Putin’s Russia is capable of and shows
ready to go to the aggression in Europe, the authors of this document recommend
the US allies in the East to work together to enhance
the possibilities of the West in the sphere of military deterrence, the task of the US now
discuss with Poland”, — the document says the American analytical
center.

Polish authorities have repeatedly proposed to build
on its territory the military base for additional American
military forces on a permanent basis.

According to Valery Korovin, USA “do not hide your
the true intentions just no reason to keep Europe under the American
you control to condition the occupied territory.” For these purposes, and used
the myth of “Russian threat”. However, the expert said, such a policy poses
the security of Central European countries, as the region risks becoming
scorched desert in the hypothetical case of aggression against Russia.

“Central Europe turns into a consumable item in
the plans of the US and its militarization only provokes conflicts,” — says
the analyst.