His former chief economic advisor revealed Mr Putin would not attempt to challenge on a truly united Europe but the Russian finds it too easy to “work, deal or fight” each individual country across the European Union.
And his warnings take on even more chilling significance in the light of last night’s US-led attacks on Syria, and Russia’s potential response.
It is revealed the Russian president has two EU members included his wider vision to create a new “empire” outside the borders of his own country.
Andrei Illarionov, who served as Mr Putin’s economic adviser 2000 to 2005, revealed to Express.co.uk, the Russian president sees the current make-up of Europe as a “weak victim for his activities”.
Speaking on the fringes of an Conservative and Reformist group economic conference at the European Parliament, Mr Illarionov said his former boss is not attempting to recreate the former Soviet Union but an entirely new “empire”, which includes several Eastern European countries.
EU news: Former Vladimir Putin adviser reveals Russian president’s masterplan
This united Europe is a weak victim for Vladimir Putin’s activities
When asked why Mr Putin is so happy to challenge the EU, Mr Illarionov said: “For him, it’s a political reason, because this united Europe is a weak victim for his activities.
“It is easy to work, to deal or to fight each country separately to have a particular deal. It is much harder, almost impossible to fight a united West or a united Europe.
“It is a very practical reason, it’s not ideological, it’s not economical – it’s a very practical, political reason because this united Europe is much weaker.”
Among the countries Mr Putin has shown an interest in are EU members – Hungary, Estonia, Austria, Finland, Greece, Latvia.
The Russian president has recently met with Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban, who while claiming he is not anti-Brussels, has demanded significant change to the EU as a thorn in the side of the bloc’s leadership.
He has also met with the relatively new Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz in Moscow, however, Mr Illarionov mentioned a slightly more lighthearted reason why Mr Putin is spreading his wings.
Mr Illarionov said: “It’s a very practical approach because the government of Hungary right now is ready to listen to Putin and ready to meet him.
“It’s a very rare opportunity for him to travel abroad. For him, it’s a little bit lonely to sit in the Kremlin and not travel abroad, especially not to travel to Europe.
“He might travel to Pyongyang or Havana, but sometimes he is longing for a good German beer from his Dresden times – there is no good German beer in Pyongyang.
“That is why he is interested in going to Europe, and this generally why he takes every opportunity to do it – it happens to only be a few countries who give him an opportunity, like Hungary, Austria, Greece or Finland.”
But not all of those countries figure in Mr Putin’s masterplan, according to his former adviser, who revealed how the Russian president pinpoints potential nations or regions to takeover.
Mr Illarionov said: “His world view is different, he understands the Soviet Union is impossible to recreate.
“It would not be good for him personally, impossible for him to do it.
What he has in mind is a little different, it’s a recreation of the so-called Slavic orthodox empire. I use the word ‘empire’ because ‘union’ would be wrong.”
The Russian is said to only target regions or countries where he carries favour, hence his move on Crimea where he enjoyed popularity.
Mr Illarionov said his former boss would never make a move on western Ukraine because he “understands quite well western Ukranians are pretty hostile towards the Kremlin”.
The economist revealed two EU members could be in Mr Putin’s plans because he feels he carries favour from its citizens.
Mr Illarionov reveals territories in eastern Latvia and Estonia are populated by Russian or Slavic who support the Kremlin.
He concludes: “He would be very interested in those territories because he would have a support from the population of these territories.”