According to U.S. strategy consultant, Mr. Molly McKew, Russia's policies of providing citizenship to those living in neighbour countries pose a threat to international security. So the EU and NATO should work out an extensive strategy to counter such hybrid interventions on the part of Russia.
"Russia's new law simplifying citizenship applications for people living in neighbour countries should be understood for what it is: the expansion of the policy that the Kremlin has used to create the pretext for invasion and political intervention in its near abroad for 30 years. This framework has been systematically built and implemented since the collapse of the USSR. It is a deliberate means of infiltrating neighbouring countries and creating centres of political influence for destabilization and intervention in domestic political affairs, as needed," Mr. McKew said.
Many well-meaning Western experts have repeated the Kremlin's arguments that Russia's passportization programs help provide humanitarian relief to occupied regions and frozen conflict zones. Thus, the need for these passports is created by the "failure" of Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and more to "find resolutions to disputed territories," the expert noted.
Nevertheless, these claims ignore the fact that passportization is meant to deepen these crises and make permanent solutions unlikely.
"Every nation must decide how much these passports are a strategic threat to their national interest, and create disincentives to acquire them, at the very least," strategy consultant said.
"The EU and NATO should discuss this issue holistically and understand the overall impact this is meant to have."
Also, he believes the West must be "more strategic in targeting Russian citizens outside Russia with information campaigns that can reach back into Russia. Also should understand how the Kremlin seeks to instrumentalize these individuals in compatriot networks, disinformation campaigns, and disruptive activities in the economic, social, and political realms."