The Serene Calm Before the Storm: Is War with Russia Inevitable?

As per US intelligence, Russia does not wish for a direct military conflict with . Nevertheless, there are increasing concerns among European political and military officials about the potential risk of with Russia.

Voices of Concern from European Officials

Boris Pistorius, 's Defense Minister, does not rule out this possibility. He believes that such an event could unfold within the span of five to eight years. Admiral Michel Hofman, Chief of Belgian Defense, resonates with this viewpoint.

France’s Stand on Ukraine

Addressing the Ukraine situation, French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has made his stance clear. He asserts that neglecting Ukraine would be tantamount to betraying allies and could trigger fresh conflicts.

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The Transnistria Situation

The possibility of Russia considering to open another front in the region of Moldova is not denied.

The US Office of Director of National Intelligence on Russia

According to the US Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Moscow does not aspire for a direct military confrontation with the US and NATO. The ODNI's most recent threat assessment report elaborates that Russia aims to prolong its asymmetric activities without triggering a world-scale conflict.

The same report suggests that Russian President Vladimir Putin has the impression that his war strategy is successful, as Russia has slowed down Ukraine's efforts to regain territory. Paradoxically, the US intelligence community is of the opinion that Putin's actions have compromised Russia's geopolitical, economic, and military revival.

Russia’s Growing Alliances and their Implications

The strengthening relations between Russia and nations like China, , and North Korea pose a significantly worrisome challenge for the US and its allies.

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Warnings about the Western Balkans

The ODNI warns of Russia potentially stoking ethnic and religious tensions in the Western Balkans. The risk of localized interethnic violence in the region is heightened for 2024. Furthermore, nationalist leaders in the area may exacerbate these tensions for personal political gains and to check further integration of the Balkans into EU or Euro-Atlantic institutions.

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