Russia’s first goal at the moment is to bring back many of the countries that made up the former Soviet Union. An example would be Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The next target could be Ukraine, which is rich in natural resources, including iron, ore, coal, natural gas, oil, graphite, mercury, and arable land.
The only thing that keeps Russia from scoring on Ukraine is NATO, EU and US. According to Forbes journalist Tim Bajarin, Russia’s interest far exceeds the old countries of the Soviet Union. In order for Russia to gain some kind of economic power and prestige, it will also need to bring significant European countries under their influence. The quoted source writes that Germany, the UK and France are on the list to come under a kind of Russian influence. It is also about all the Scandinavian countries, especially Finland, with which they have a border and are also rich with natural resources and exceptional technical talent.
To take control of these countries, Putin must weaken NATO, the EU and especially the US. Putin’s first step was when he got involved in the US, UK, Germany and Spain elections. Russia has also tried to influence the ballot box in all Soviet satellite countries. Putin resembles discord through social media and direct electoral intervention to try to weaken these countries and make it possible to annex those lost by Russia – Soviet Union.
The second thing on Russian leaders’ agenda is to steal as much technical IP they can to try and control their technology destiny. Russia has always been involved in corporate espionage.
A third objective of Russia is related to China. It is about a common understanding of influence by which the US and the EU are marginalized. The strategy of China and Russia is to increase their political and economic influence and to try to control more countries.
The US and EU live and die in four year or eight-year political increments. Long range planning to counter 50-100-year plans in Russia and China are not what these democracies do.
Journalist Forbes also writes that if the US and EU only looking at shorter-term roadmaps, if they are not careful, they could allow both Russia and China to make gains that could impact the USA and the EU’s future.