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Authored by Dr. Richard J. Krickus.
There has been widespread discussion of Russia's efforts to exploit its energy assets to influence developments in Ukraine; specifically, to put pressure on the leaders of the Orange Revolution who have adopted a Western orientation, rather than one toward the East—Russia. The author explains how the Russian leadership has exploited its energy assets to advance its security interests in the vital East Baltic Sea Region, particularly Poland and the Baltic countries. This triad of power is comprised of former members of the military and security service—the siloviki; economic warlords, members of organized crime, and rogue military personnel; and "local elites" in Poland and the Baltic countries who have advanced Russia's security interests in the region. The author provides recommendations on how this can be addressed by the U.S. military and the EBSR defense establishments.