Consider what we've heard recently.
Russia is moving troops into Syria to support the Assad regime and to fight ISIS.
Consider what's gone off the radar. Ukraine.
Is this Putin's game plan? Is this how he goes from villain to hero of the West? Think about it. If Russia doesn't advance. Keeps the rebels in check and simply helps rebuild the occupied rebel areas then suddenly that conflict's new borders becomes accepted, peace is back in Europe and the Germans can back to fleecing the southern countries.
But think about what else happens with this. Ukraine is peaceful and suddenly Russia is in the vanguard in the fight against ISIS. Who would be happy with that? Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC. Iraq would smile. Iran wouldn't be too upset. Of course Assad would be smiling a bit....and a bit worried....ISIS has been killing the rebels too. Interestingly enough I even think Israel would breath a sigh of relief. Russia would be making the neighborhood a bit more predictable.
If this is the plan then its brilliant.
Not only do they become at the very least neutral to Europe, but they're also seen as dependable allies by most in the region AND they gain influence at our expense.