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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RUSSIALINK Russia Direct: “Does Putin really intend to restore the Soviet Union? RD Interview: Professor Richard Sakwa from the University of Kent talks about Russia’s foreign policy and explains why Russia is creating alternative regional institutions such as the Eurasian Economic Union.”

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

“Despite the deteriorating state of relations between Russia and the West, experts and politicians continue to search for ways out of the crisis. Many blame Russia and President Vladimir Putin for the desire to restore the Soviet Union and pursue an authoritarian path of development. However, as other experts argue, such perceptions stem from a misunderstanding of Russia’s interests, goals […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Why Ukraine and Russia Need Each Other” – Nicolai Petro/Russian Politics

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Ukraine needs ….  the restoration of those economic ties with Russia that clearly benefit the Ukrainian economy, at least until Ukraine develops stable alternative markets. …. a stop gap measure needed to stop the hemorrhaging of resources, manpower, and capital, and to win Ukraine time and breathing space for economic reform …. Nor do I see it as a matter […]

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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

EU Map

(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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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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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: 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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NEWSLINK: Ukraine drops plan to go West, turns East

EU Map

[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

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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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Russia not planning to forcibly drag anyone to Customs Union – diplomat

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(Interfax – BRUSSELS, September 13, 2013) Russia is not planning to put pressure on any state or drag it forcibly into any association because of its relations with the EU’s Eastern Partnership, Russian envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov told Interfax on Friday. “Our partners, primarily European parliamentarians, are unfortunately deeply misled on this. It is not about Russia’s […]

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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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Why Putin Needs Ukraine

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

(Institute of Modern Russia – imrussia.org – Donald N. Jensen – August 13, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Ukraine on July 27 to attend a joint commemoration marking the 1,025th anniversary of Russia’s conversion to Christianity. As Donald N. Jensen, Resident Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, points […]

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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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Customs Union Frauds Behind 40% of Russia Capital Flight

File Photo of Man Placing Stack of Large Bills into Inside Pocket of Suitcoat

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, June 20, 2013) Fictitious import contracts with entities from Customs Union member states Belarus and Kazakhstan accounted for 40 percent of Russia’s net capital outflow last year, business daily Vedomosti reported on Thursday citing Central Bank data. About $10 billion could have been laundered through fake imports schemes via Kazakhstan, the Central Bank said in a […]

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Putin Says ‘Eurasian Integration’ Top Priority For Russia

Vladimir Putin file photo

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, June 10, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin has named promoting partnership with CIS countries, enhancing Eurasian integration in the framework of the Customs Union and Single Economic Space, and creating the Eurasian Economic Union by 2015 as most important priorities of Russia’s foreign policy. At a meeting on federal executive bodies’ action plans to achieve Russian […]

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RIA Novosti: Russian Senior MP Says USA Cannot Disrupt Integration In Post Soviet Space

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(RIA Novosti – June 10, 2013) The USA will not be able to hinder integration processes in the post-Soviet space, chairman of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee Aleksey Pushkov has said. He was speaking at a news conference in Moscow on 10 June, as reported by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on the same day. Pushkov said: […]

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The Eurasian Union – Fending Off European Ailments

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(RIA Novosti – Fyodor Lukyanov – May 30, 2013 – Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal, an authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments)  Astana recently hosted a Customs Union summit. The integration project is taking shape on the fly, so each summit evokes a great deal of interest. What if […]

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Russians see CIS, China as Russia’s chief foreign-policy partners – poll

Eurasia Map

(Interfax – MOSCOW, April 28, 2013) Respondents polled in Russia recently said they would prefer Russia to deal with China and countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States rather than with the United States. “Asked which countries should be given priority as partners in cooperation, 28% of those polled named members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Levada Center […]

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Ukraine: Straddling between the EU and the Customs Union

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – www.rbth.ru – Natalia Bespalova, Special to RBTH – March 12, 2013) Ukrainians would not want to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan at the expense of Euro-integration, but the Ukrainian president says his country “is not tough or rich enough to neglect such cooperation” Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his […]

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Chagrin and Ambivalence in Putin’s Foreign Policy

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Eurasia Daily Monitor: Volume 10, Issue 45 – Jamestown Foundation – jamestown.org – Pavel K. Baev – March 11, 2013) Entering the second year of his third presidency, President Vladimir Putin has shown uncharacteristically scant interest to foreign policy matters perhaps suspecting that Western “partners” are sponsoring Russia’s opposition movement and that neighboring post-Soviet leaders and even Chinese “friends” are […]

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Revising the concept of Eurasia

Eurasia Map

In Russia, Eurasia is usually assumed to mean the post-Soviet space. The integration project Moscow has been actively promoting over the past four years is even called the Eurasian Union. However, the interpretation of Eurasia as the territory of the former Russian Empire and the Soviet Union is now outdated.

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Eurasian Integration No ‘Reincarnation of USSR’ – Nazarbayev

File Photo of Hillary Rodham Clinton with Nazarbayev

ASTANA, January 18 (RIA Novosti) – Former Soviet states’ involvement in Eurasian integration does not herald a return to the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Friday. “We will continue to strive toward our common goal, and I want to stress once again that Eurasian integration, which is proceeding under my personal initiative, has never been, and never […]

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Russian President Denies Trying To Resurrect USSR

Vladimir Putin file photo

(RIA Novosti – Dec. 10, 2012) President Vladimir Putin has rejected suggestions that Russia’s drive for closer ties with other former Soviet republics is an attempt to rebuild the Soviet Union. Speaking on 10 December at a meeting in Moscow with his “authorized representatives”, who acted as his election agents during this year’s presidential election campaign, Putin dismissed such claims […]

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