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Daily Vertical: Weaponization By Any Other Name (Transcript)

As the European Union and Turkey were negotiating an agreement last week to ease the worst refugee crisis since World War II, Moscow chimed in with a snarky message.

"The migration crisis has been caused by irresponsible attempts to spread western-type democracy to the Middle East," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova tweeted.

Reasonable people can differ over whether or not Russia is weaponizing the migrant crisis.

But the question is largely one of semantics.

What is not in doubt is that, with its actions in Syria -- the indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets and the bombing of medical facilities -- Moscow has exacerbated the crisis exponentially.

And what is also not in doubt, is that Moscow is benefiting from this.

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It is benefiting because the migrant crisis divides Europe, where Russia loves to play divide-and-rule.

It is benefiting because the migrant crisis distracts European leaders and weakens their resolve to keep sanctions in place.

It is benefiting because the migrant crisis plays into the hands of xenophobic forces in Europe who are supported by Moscow -- and who tend to carry Moscow's water.

And it is benefiting because the migrant crisis brings Russia's goal of revising Europe's post-Cold War security architecture a little bit closer.

So you can call that weaponization, or you can call it something else.

But at the end of the day, it's the same thing.

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