Kyiv Security Forum

The weak West must be beaten – a Finnish expert describes Putin’s Russia’s ideology

12 April 2014, 10:19

In its relations with the West, Russia proceeds from the “beat the weak one” principle, believing that the West is in decay. It is this approach that provoked Russia’s aggression against Georgia in 2008 and aggression against Ukraine in 2014 to which Moscow did receive an appropriate response.

This opinion was voiced by Arkadiy Moshes, EU’s Eastern Neighborhood and Russia Research Program Director, Finnish Institute of International Relations, during the 7th Kyiv Security Forum on Friday.

‘Russia believes that the West is weak, and benefits from that. What can be said about the present RF leaders, can we understand Russia? We certainly can! Putin said in his 2004 address that   the weakest must go to the wall. In February 2013, Russia’s security concept clearly stated that the West was in decay. This entire concept relies upon weakness of the West. Hence, as you can see, when we add these two things together we see: the West is weak, and the weakest must go to the wall. And we have a result’, he stated commenting on Putin’s Russia’s ideology.

The Finnish expert emphasized that ‘everything had become clear’ to him as far back as at the NATO summit in Bucharest when RF President Vladimir Putin had stated that Ukraine is just a combination of separate territories. And that none of the Western state leaders left the room in response to such a statement just became to Putin a signal of ‘how far he can go’, Arkadiy Moshes believes.

In the expert’s opinion, the West paid little attention to the Black Sea region security issues, which caused emergence of a security vacuum in the region. So, Russia decided to fill in that vacuum, using weakness of the West.

The analyst from the Finnish Institute of International Relations is sure that the present crisis should not be viewed in the regional context because it is a problem of entire Europe and, perhaps of the whole world.

‘The Black Sea can be a battlefield not all the time but two preconditions must be met for that: serious institutional reforms, including in the area of security, in such countries as Ukraine, and a very serious homework to be done by the West’, Arkadiy Moshes believes.


The Kyiv Security Forum agenda is designed for 2 days and offers six panels open to the media representatives. The agenda can be amended, with amendments posted on the Forum’s website.

A separate area (Press Center) will be organized for the press, with equipped workplaces and Wi-Fi Internet access as well as live broadcast of all the Forum panels. In addition, a specially equipped area in the session hall will be reserved for journalists.

The organizers are ready to help arrange individual interviews with and comments from the Forum speakers on advance notice.

The Kyiv Security Forum annual international event, initiated by the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation in 2007, is a platform for debates on the most pressing security issues in Europe and the Black Sea region. The Forum’s mission is to increase security cooperation between the European Union and the Black Sea region, raise awareness about security development among key players, and promote the role of independent and non-governmental actors in setting the security agenda in Europe.

The event is supported by the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation, the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine, and the Chatham House Royal Institute of International Relations (UK).

For information on the project visit

The Open Ukraine Foundation is an international charitable foundation established at the initiative of Arseniy Yatsenyuk for strengthening public diplomacy and developing Ukraine’s reputation in the world. The Foundation achieves its goal by implementing the key programs: International Dialogue, Cultural Horizons, and Young Leaders. The Foundation is an organization of a broad circle of charity providers and unites around itself any people who care for Ukraine’s reputation and future.

For more details about the Foundation visit