RUSSIALINK: “A CHINESE SILK NOOSE” – Valdai Club/ Georgy Toloraya

Asia Map

“… In response to the Chinese initiative, Russia advanced an even more ambitious project of a Greater Eurasian Partnership … incorporate[ing] the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and even the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). … However, Russia lacks the resources and integration ties with the numerous countries of the Euro-Pacific space for implementing this ambitious […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Belarus Can’t Afford to Be the New Ukraine; Is it too late for Lukashenko to defy Russia?” – The National Interest/Nikolay Pakhomov

Alyaksandr Lukeshenko file photo

“On February 3 Belarusian president Aleksandr Lukashenko launched the fiercest of his rhetorical attacks against Russia  …. moderate estimates show that Belarus has received approximately $100 billion of various Russian investments, preferences and support. … Politically, the Union State of Russia and Belarus that was formed in December 1999 never fully materialized. Furthermore, despite the geopolitical showdown between Russia and […]

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Border regime with Belarus was not introduced, at issue are border zones to regulate trips by citizens of third countries – Kremlin

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

MOSCOW. Feb 3 (Interfax) – #Moscow has pointed it out to #Minsk that no decisions on the introduction of a border regime on the #Russian-#Belarusian border have been made and the Federal Security Service director’s order on the creation of border zones is aimed at regulating trips by citizens of third countries. “Belarusian President Alexander #Lukashenko [on Friday] made critical […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Belarus reportedly mulls leaving Eurasian Economic Union as relations with Russia worsen” – bne Intellinews

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“#Belarus wants to leave the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and possibly the union state of #Russia and Belarus, the Russian online news service Regnum controversially reported on February 2, citing an anonymous source in Moscow. The information has not been confirmed by either Minsk or Moscow, but over the last few months tensions have risen […]

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Russia Seeks To Drive Wedge Into Central Asia

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Bruce Pannier – January 5, 2016) Russia appears to be practicing a bit of “divide-and-conquer” politics in Central Asia, and state-owned Gazprom is spearheading the campaign. On January 4, Russia’s main news agencies quoted a “source” within Gazprom Export, the Gazprom wing charged with handling gas imports from other countries, saying Russia would not be importing any […]

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NEWSWATCH Carnegie Endowment for International Peace/Eugene Rumer, Paul Stronski: “Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia at Twenty­Five-A Baseline Assessment”

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace undertakes an overview of former Soviet states two-and-a-half decades following the USSR’s collapse. For nearly twenty-five years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the former Soviet lands now collectively referred to as Eurasia defied the best and the worst expectations of students of the region’s history. Unfortunately, […]

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The Riga summit of disappointment

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Ben Aris in Moscow – May 21, 2015) Several plucky countries of Emerging Europe have put their necks on the block by defying Russian bullying to join its Customs Union, turning instead to the EU and its promise of a better life. But most of these countries are likely to be disappointed, or could […]

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Meet the EEU family (Eurasian Economic Union)

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – January 5, 2015) Members: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia Prospective member: Armenia Potential members: Kyrgyzstan (likely), Tajikistan (unlikely) Population: 173mn (Russia, including Crimea, 146mn; Kazakhstan, 17mn; Belarus, 10mn) Total GDP: $2.7tn Share of world gas reserves: 20% Share of world oil reserves: 15% On January 1, the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty governing what […]

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For Russia, Eurasian Union is About Politics, Not Economy

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – May 30, 2014) With the milestone agreement to create a Eurasian economic union clinched in Kazakhstan on Thursday, Russia put cheap energy resources at the head of its drive to pull former Soviet states away from European integration and into its orbit. The Eurasian Economic Union agreement, signed by the leaders of […]

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RIA Novosti: Opinion: Eurasian Union’s Economic Integration Stronger than EU’s

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WASHINGTON, May 30 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – The Eurasian Economic Union is a better, more realistic step towards economic integration than the European Union, and will be more productive, said Andrew McKillop, a former chief policy analyst at the European Commission Directorate General for Energy. “It is the right decision at the right time,” McKillop, now an independent journalist […]

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Despite Ukraine Crisis, Russia Pursues Eurasian Integration Dream

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – May 28, 2014) It’s full steam ahead for the Moscow-backed Eurasian Economic Union — even as its prospective members express serious reservations. At the May 29 summit of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in Astana, the three are expected to sign a treaty to transform their tripartite Customs Union into a Eurasian Economic Union (EES) by January 2015. […]

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UKRAINE ONLINE POLL: What would be Ukraine’s best course to follow?

Maidan Square file photo

[poll originally posted in late 2013] We would like to hear your opinion about unfolding events in Ukraine and welcome your participation in the following poll. Visitors can vote for up to three choices, and generally can vote once each day.  There also as an option to “fill in the blank.” After you have made your choice(s) and/or added a […]

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Stability across Former Soviet Space ‘Deceptive,’ Moscow Paper Says

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 26, 2014) Despite the fact that the Ukrainian revolution is far from over, many in Moscow are asking where the next such outburst of turmoil and change in the former Soviet space will happen, a question prompted by the fact that most Russians were “unprepared” for what happened in Kyiv, according […]

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Moscow Faces Five Growing Obstacles to Integrating Post-Soviet Space, MGIMO Professor Says

European Portion of Commonwealth of Independent States

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 18, 2014) Both because the Russian empire has always been “an empire of a special type” and because ethnic Russians remain “the most divided people in Europe,” Moscow has every right to “struggle” to overcome what Vladimir Putin has described as the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century, according to […]

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Controversial Year for Ukraine: President Yanukovych Makes U-turn to Avoid Default

Viktor Yanukovych file photo

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 11, Issue 3 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Oleg Varfolomeyev – January 8, 2014) Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych made a sensational U-turn last year, choosing Russian economic assistance over an association and free-trade deal with the European Union. The decision, which triggered the most massive anti-government protests since 2004, was dictated by a dismal state […]

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The Kremlin’s Euromaidan Calculus

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – January 6, 2014) In December, after a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych, Moscow announced that it would give Kiev a $15 billion bailout and slash the gas price by one-third as a reward for Yanukovych’s rejection of an association agreement with the European Union. Donald N. Jensen, […]

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Belarusians Want to Join EU Rather than Russia, Poll Shows

Belarus Map

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 3, 2013) Ukrainians and Moldovans are not the only nations between Moscow and the European Union who would prefer to be part of the EU than any Moscow-dominated entity and certainly don’t want their country to be absorbed by the Russian Federation.  A new poll shows that Belarusians have the same […]

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Preparations for Russia’s G8 presidency will give priority to search for solutions to key intl issues

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

MOSCOW. Dec 31 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has given the country’s government and Foreign Ministry until May 1, 2014 to complete negotiations on a Eurasian Economic Union Treaty with Belarus and Kazakhstan and draft a bill to ratify this document. The list of instructions that come as a follow-up to the president’s annual address to the Federal Assembly […]

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Interfax: Ukraine’s association with EU doesn’t contradict observer status in Customs Union – Kremlin

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MOSCOW. Dec 23 (Interfax) – Ukraine’s association with the European Union does not contradict their observer status in the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said. “No, there is no contradiction,” Ushakov told a briefing on Monday, responding to a question from Interfax as to whether Ukraine can simultaneously be an observer in the […]

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Interfax: Russian foreign minister on Ukraine’s place in Europe and Eurasia

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, December 21, 2013) Russia would like to see Ukraine participating in Eurasian integrational processes and the agreements between Russia and Ukraine of 17 December confirm a shared desire for constructive work, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “Eurasian integrational structures are open to other partners in the CIS as well. Of course, we would like to […]

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Interfax: Russia has no wish to restore USSR though integration has benefits for former Soviet republics – Matviyenko

Valentina Matviyenko file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 20 (Interfax) – The statements of people accusing Russia of imperial ambitions or aspiration to restore the Soviet Union are groundless, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said. “No one wants to restore anything and it is impossible already, so such statements are absolutely baseless,” Matviyenko said at an integration club meeting in the Russian Geographical Society. It […]

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RIA Novosti: Russia Condemns Pressure on Ukraine to Turn Towards Europe

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MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia is surprised by blatant attempts to pressure Ukraine into signing an association agreement with the European Union, Russia’s foreign minister said Wednesday. Sergei Lavrov said that pressure was continuing despite Kiev’s clear choice to develop closer ties with Moscow. He spoke a day after President Vladimir Putin agreed to cut the price of […]

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Interfax: SUMMARY: Gazprom slashes gas price for Ukraine by third, looks at new model of relations

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – Russia’s Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) and Naftogaz Ukraine, in the presence of the two countries’ presidents on Tuesday, signed addenda to January 19, 2009 contracts on the purchase-sale, delivery and transshipment of natural gas for 2009-2019. Discount President Vladimir Putin said after the signing that the documents would enable Gazprom to supply gas to Ukraine at […]

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RIA Novosti: Gazprom Could Lose Billions Over Ukraine Gas Deal – Analyst

Russian Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia’s deal to provide Ukraine with cheaper gas may mean billions of dollars in lost profits, an investment analyst told a business newspaper in remarks published Wednesday. President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would slash the price of its gas to Ukraine by one-third on Tuesday, down to $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters from […]

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Ukraine, Russia deal is a bandage not a remedy

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Lilit Gevorgyan, IHS Global – December 18, 2013) Any form of aid is probably going to be a bandage on Ukraine’s economic troubles rather than a serious remedy. These troubles are a result of a toxic combination of domestic macroeconomic policy failures and unfavorable external demand for Ukrainian undiversified exports, which are heavily dependent […]

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A divided Ukraine: Between Russia and the EU

EU Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – December 16, 2013) The crisis over the country’s future intensifies as protesters backing closer ties with Europe bring the barricades back to Kiev’s Maidan Square. Opinion in Ukraine has split in two over whether the country should sign an Association Agreement offering trade and political links with […]

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Russia Backs Off Ukraine Union After Lenin Statue Falls

Monument in Ukraine

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Kateryna Choursina, Daryna Krasnolutska & Ilya Arkhipov – December 9, 2013) Russia cast doubt that Ukraine may soon join its customs bloc, a plan that have sparked the ex-Soviet republic’s biggest protests in almost a decade and fueled calls for President Viktor Yanukovych to resign. Riot police and stick-wielding protesters squared off in central Kiev a […]

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Interfax: Putin, Yanukovych did not discuss Ukraine’s accession to Customs Union – Kremlin spokesman Peskov

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych met in Sochi on Friday to discuss the agenda of the bilateral interstate commission, which is to hold a session in Moscow on December 17, and they did not discuss Ukraine’s possible accession to the Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian Customs Union, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Interfax. “Special […]

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Russia Offers Ukraine Cheaper Gas to Join Moscow-Led Group

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Irina Reznik & Henry Meyer – December 2, 2013) Russia will offer cheaper natural gas to Ukraine if the government in Kiev opts to join a Moscow-led economic bloc after halting free-trade talks with the European Union, according to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. Ukraine’s economic difficulties will be best resolved if it chooses integration […]

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Interfax: Duma Chairman Naryshkin: West applied unprecedented pressure on Ukraine to sign EU deal

Russian Duma Building

KAZAN. Nov 29 (Interfax) – State Duma Chairman Sergei Naryshkin claims the West applied strong pressure on Ukraine to sign an association agreement with the European Union. “We all have witnessed unprecedented pressure on Ukraine on the part of Western countries and institutions: highest-ranking European bureaucrats in fact regularly attended not only Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada sessions but also sessions of […]

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Moscow Times: Economic Logic Pushed Ukraine to Russia

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – November 29, 2013) For Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, it was not pressure from Russia that provoked Ukraine’s flip-flop on the association deal with the European Union. Azarov has said he bowed to the strong sentiment within the country for making up with Moscow, as exports to that key market declined. “I […]

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Interfax: Ukrainian public split over EU/Customs Union options – poll

EU Map

KYIV. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Ukraine is split practically 50/50 over the accession to the European Union or the Customs Union. Europe is favored by 39% of Ukrainians, and 37% prefer the Customs Union, said the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. Some 76% of the Ukrainians polled in the middle of this November said they were ready to take part […]

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Interfax: “Kudrin: Ukraine to lose from association with EU in the first 5-10 years”

Alexei Kudrin file photo

(Interfax – November 26, 2013) Ukraine might have had short-term losses from its association with the European Union but gained in the long-term, former Russian Finance Minister, head of the Committee for Civil Initiatives Alexei Kudrin said. “I think that the reasons mentioned by the Russian president and Ukrainian entrepreneurs are quite rational. Most probably, Ukraine will lose from entering […]

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Ukraine halts EU trade talks, asks for three-way meeting with Russia

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 22, 2013) Ukraine shocked European officials on November 21 when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych announced he was freezing negotiations with the EU and called for a three-way summit that includes Russia. Tensions have been rising ahead of an EU summit due to be held in Vilnius on November 28-19 at which Kyiv is […]

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NEWSLINK: Ukraine drops plan to go West, turns East

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[Ukraine drops plan to go West, turns East – Reuters – Richard Balmforth and Pavel Polityuk – November 21, 2013 – reuters.com/article/2013/11/21/us-ukraine-eu-idUSBRE9AK0S220131121] Reuters reports on Ukraine’s sudden shift from a pending deal with the European Union back towards Russia: Ukraine’s government announced it was suspending preparations for a landmark trade pact with the European Union … [saying] it would renew […]

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Interfax: More people in Moldova prefer Customs Union to EU membership – poll

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

CHISINAU. Nov 18 (Interfax) – A public opinion poll conducted by the Romanian sociological research company CCSB has shown that 48% of Moldovan citizens support the country’s accession to the Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian Customs Union and 42% would choose the European Union. CCSB expert Alexandru Larionescu said at a press conference on Friday that the respondents were asked whether they support or […]

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Business New Europe: Ukraine’s game of high-stakes poker

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – November 14, 2013) Did Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych just outfox Russian President Vladimir Putin and make a complete fool out of the entire EU? A string of events over the last week suggest that Yanukovych never had any intention of signing off on the free trade and association agreement at an EU summit in […]

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Young Russians in Northwest Overwhelmingly Say They’re Europeans and Don’t Want to be Part of Putin’s Eurasian Union

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 11, 2013) More than two-thirds of university students in northwestern Russia identify as Europeans, nearly half would like to live in a Unified Europe, and only about one in six want to become part of the Eurasian Union, a pattern that suggests Vladimir Putin’s efforts to archaize the country will fail […]

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Indo-Russian Summit Highlights Emerging Trends in Asian International Relations

India map

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 199 – Stephen Blank – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – November 6, 2013) Indian Premier Manmohan Singh’s October 21–22 visit to Moscow not only reaffirmed traditional Indo-Russian amity, it also revealed significant trends in Asian developments that affect both parties as well as other key players like the United States, China and Pakistan. In […]

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Putin Has Last Crack at Yanukovych’s EU Dream

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – October 25, 2013) Turkey is interested in joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and India also wants closer ties with the organization, President Vladimir Putin said at the EurAsian Economic Community summit in Minsk on Thursday. But some political analysts saw the summit in Minsk, which for the first […]

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Putin: Ukraine cannot be simultaneously EU associated member, Customs Union member

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MINSK. Oct 25 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed once again that Ukraine cannot be simultaneously an EU associated member and a Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian Customs Union member. Speaking to journalists in Minsk on Friday, Putin pointed out that the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU says that all possible integration associations Ukraine would wish to join in the […]

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An Old Game With New Rules In Russia’s Backyard

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – September 27, 2013) A former Soviet republic has its sights set on moving closer to Europe, a move staunchly opposed by Moscow. With the Kremlin’s tacit support, one of its majority ethnic-Russian cities votes to secede, sparking fears of violent conflict. Officials in Moscow vow to defend the rights of its smaller neighbor’s […]

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Ukraine can’t be ‘here and there’ at the same time – Medvedev on Ukraine’s integration

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 19, 2013) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has reiterated that Ukraine cannot combine its associated membership in the European Union with integration in the Customs Union. During a meeting with the participants in the 15th General Assembly of the Organization of Asia- Pacific News Agencies (OANA), he said such statements by the Ukrainian administration on its […]

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EU, Customs Union norms incompatible, Ukraine faces political choice – Shuvalov

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Interfax – GORKI, September 9, 2013) A group of lawyers has arrived at the conclusion that the normative bases of the European Union and Customs Union are incompatible, and that if Ukraine joins the EU free trade zone it will not be able to take on Customs Union obligations, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has said. “The conclusion […]

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Russia denies forcing Ukraine to join Customs Union

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 29, 2013) Russia denies allegations that it is forcing Ukraine to join the Belarusian-Kazakh-Russian Customs Union and urges the EU not to misinterpret the essence of the matter. “We are not forcing any decisions on Ukraine, and it is for the Ukrainian leadership and the Ukrainian people to make them on their own. We are being […]

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Ukraine-EU Deal to Entail Protective Measures – Putin

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(RIA Novosti – ROSTOV-ON-DON, August 23, 2013) The Moscow-led Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan may have to use protective measures should Ukraine sign an association agreement with the European Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. “If our neighbors [Ukraine] resort to a substantial liberalization of their customs regime with the EU, goods that are not bad in […]

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Russia and Ukraine on the Verge of a Decisive Choice

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(RIA Novosti – August 22, 2013 – Fyodor Lukyanov, Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal, authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments) Russian-Ukrainian relations are again at the center of attention. Nothing has happened between Moscow and Kiev in the three years since the signing of the Kharkiv agreement, under which Ukraine extended Russia’s […]

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TRANSCRIPT [Putin]: Orthodox-Slavic Values: The Foundation of Ukraine’s Civilisational Choice conference

File Photo of Ukrainians with Ukrainian Flag in Public Square Near Tower with Golden Dome

(Kremlin.ru – July 27, 2013) Vladimir Putin took part in the conference called Orthodox-Slavic Values: The Foundation of Ukraine’s Civilisational Choice. PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, friends, I just said goodbye before to President of Ukraine Mr Yanukovych. You also sent him your best wishes. Unfortunately, he has a strict schedule with a lot of events to attend: […]

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Russian senator blames underfunding for loss on influence in post-Soviet space

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Interfax – St. Petersburg, July 10, 2013) The Federation Council is concerned that Russia is losing influence in the post-Soviet space because of the lack of funds to finance Russian NCOs (noncommercial organizations) which work there. Igor Morozov, a member of the Committee on International Affairs, told a Federation Council meeting on Wednesday (10 July) that the European Union and […]

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EVENT: The New Russian Sphere of Influence: Does Russia’s Eurasian Union Threaten U.S. Interests? [Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 27, 2013]

Map of Russia and European Region of Former Soviet Union or Commonwealth of Independent States

Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2013 From: “The Heritage Foundation” <mailingFP@heritage.org> Subject: Event Invitation for this Thursday – The New Russian Sphere of Influence: Does Russia’s Eurasian Union Threaten U.S. Interests? The Heritage Foundation INVITATION June 27, 2013 The New Russian Sphere of Influence: Does Russia’s Eurasian Union Threaten U.S. Interests? Featuring 10:00 a.m. ­ Panel 1 Ambassador Temuri Yakobashvilli, former […]

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