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Many politicians in Westminster think there is little the UK can do by itself to deter Russia’s aggression. From Ukraine to Syria and from conventional warfare to cyber warfare, the thinking goes, an effective response to the challenges Russia poses can be formulated and implemented only when the West acts in unity.
Over the past two decades or so, Russia has played divide-and-rule games between Western countries and within them. The aim has been to weaken individual states and multilateral rules-based organisations, and to create the perception that the targeted country is isolated and indefensible. With such a perception, these countries are vulnerable to the Kremlin’s influence. Individually, Western countries are – on the whole – weaker than Russia. But together, these same countries are stronger than Russia. This is one of the reasons why Russia sees the EU and Nato as existential threats.
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