Whenever and however Putin may leave, any successor will need to revise Russia’s geopolitical choice. Putin has taken two decades to show that he doesn’t have a reverse gear. A new leader will be free from this constraint, and Russia may find itself considering its three choices again.
Europe has a lot to gain if it has the courage. Drawing Russia in could solve some of the European Union’s fundamental problems. With its massive natural-gas reserves, Russia could propel Europe faster toward hard-to-reach environmental goals. With its untapped economic potential and need for immigrants to develop its vast territory, it could be a big help in resolving migration issues. With its recent investment in agile, modern military power — yes, in the Avangard, too — it could provide a backbone for a joint European military.
So Russia’s fate is to be a mineral resource depot, dumping ground for Third Worlders, and cannon fodder for the retirement home and taxpayer funded mansion for Somalis better known as the EU.
All the while bleeding out its human capital to Germany and Scandinavia, as is happening in the more integrated European peripheries today.
Yeah, I don’t think that’s gonna happen.