Joe Biden started his Presidency with a single agenda- vilifying and punishing Russia. In order to achieve this object, Biden now wants to push entire Eastern Europe into a catastrophe. He is pushing small countries in the region to take on Russia. First, he pushed Ukraine into destruction by reinvigorating border tensions between Russia and Ukraine. And now he is pushing the Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria into aggression against Russia.
While Ukraine is staring into a Russian troops build-up on its Eastern flank, Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria are now locked in bitter diplomatic face offs with Moscow. The Czech Republic’s ongoing diplomatic standoff with Moscow is the most troublesome of all such face-offs.
On Thursday, the Czech Republic ordered Moscow to remove most of its diplomatic staff from Prague. This is the worst escalation of disputes in Russia-Czech relations over the past two decades.
The diplomatic face-off between Moscow and Prague has escalated very quickly. On Saturday, Prague expelled 18 Russian staff, after identifying them as intelligence officers. Dismissal of Russian diplomats over espionage allegations is, of course, a tactic that has the US written all over it.
Anyway, Russia retaliated proportionately and ordered out 20 Czech staff from the Moscow embassy in retaliation. Finally, the Czech Republic escalated the matters beyond control and asked Russia to reduce the number of envoys in Prague and bring them at par with the number of Czech envoys in Moscow. This effectively means that Russia will have to remove 63 diplomats and other staff from its embassy in Prague.
Russia itself would consider the latest Czech order a major affront. The Russian embassy in Prague is presently the largest in the Czech Republic.
Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said, “We will put a ceiling on the number of diplomats at the Russian embassy in Prague at the current level of our embassy in Moscow.” Kulhanek added, “I do not want to needlessly escalate…but the Czech Republic is a self-confident country and will act as such. This is not aimed against Russians or the Russian nation, but a reaction to activities of Russian secret services on our territory.”
Two other Eastern European nations- Poland and Bulgaria are locked in similar diplomatic face offs with Moscow. Earlier this month, Poland ordered three Russian diplomats to leave the Warsaw Embassy. The move was too aggressive and Poland expressly said that it was taken in solidarity with the US. In a direct response, Moscow also ordered out three Polish diplomats.
The US design is to project Russia as a bully that gets deeply involved in espionage activity. In March, Bulgaria too expelled two Russian diplomats. Prosecutors in Bulgaria claimed, “Preliminary investigations have shown that two Russian nationals carried out intelligence activity incompatible with diplomatic relations.” Again, Russia retaliated in full and expelled two Bulgarian diplomats.
In fact, the diplomatic wars have been going on for some time now. Earlier, in February, Russia had expelled three diplomats- one each from Germany, Sweden and Poland on the allegation that they joined protests in support of opposition activist Alexei Navalny. In response, Poland had also expelled a Russian diplomat at that time.
However, the ongoing round of diplomatic expulsions is showing no signs of dying down. With every allegation of espionage and every order expelling Russian diplomats, Eastern Europe is heading towards chaos or even a total disaster. Biden is pushing small nations into aggression against a mighty Russia that still considers Eastern Europe as its sphere of influence. Biden is using countries like Poland and Bulgaria as tools to project Russia as a bully. Yet, his mad quest to somehow punish Russia can leave Eastern Europe in some serious trouble.