Russia's unprovoked aggression against Ukraine is a tectonic event that will shape its relationships with the West and China in unpredictable ways, according to the US intelligence report.
According to the report, the risk of the conflict escalating to a military confrontation between Russia and the West but at the same time, Russia probably does not want a direct military conflict with US and NATO forces.
Intel report predicts, “Moscow will continue to use an array of tools to advance what it sees as its own interests and try to undermine the interests of the United States and its allies. These are likely to be military, security, malign influence, cyber, and intelligence tools, with Russia’s economic and energy leverage probably a declining asset.”
In the Middle East and North Africa, Russia continues to use its involvement and the activities of the private security company Vagner in the Central African Republic, Libya, Mali and Syria to increase its influence, try to undercut US leadership, present itself as an indispensable mediator and security partner and gain military access rights and economic opportunities, according to the report.
Intel report also shows concerns over Moscow’s ties to Tehran, which will improve politically and economically as both countries seek ways to circumvent sanctions and advance closer bilateral economic and defence cooperation.
In the Western Hemisphere, Moscow will seek to maintain its influence by continuing its diplomatic overtures and economic engagements mostly with the countries that it sees as key players or close partners, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
Most importantly, China and Russia will maintain their strategic ties driven by their shared threat perceptions of the United States, which create potential threats in areas such as security collaboration, specifically arms sales and joint exercises, and diplomacy, where each country has used its veto power on the UN Security Council against US interests, the report said.
Source: Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community