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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Is There A Non-West for Russia to Lead?

Mercator Projection Satellite Image of Earth

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Keith Darden – January 28, 2016 – ponarseurasia.org/memo/non-west-for-russia-to-lead) Keith Darden is Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University. (PONARS Eurasia Policy Memo) Recently, Russian policymakers and strategists have articulated a vision of a vibrant non-Western world, one in which the United States and European leaders are increasingly marginal and where Russia […]

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100 Million Fewer People Speak Russian Now than Did 25 Years Ago

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia Staunton, December 26, 2015) The number of people who speak Russian has declined by 100 million since 1989 or 27 percent, according to Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the Duma committee on compatriots and Eurasian integration. (In 1989, 370 million said they spoke Russian; now, 270 million do.) But instead of seeing this as […]

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Russia Only Has Itself to Blame for Lost Influence in Post-Soviet Sphere

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – July 1, 2015) As Russian officials scramble to heap blame on Western NGOs for anti-government protests that have swept the Armenian capital in recent days, analysts argued that Moscow only has itself to blame for its loss of influence in the former Soviet space. More specifically, Russia has lost its regional grip […]

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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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Oligarchic Capitalism Blamed for Loss of Russia’s Position in Former Soviet Republics

Map of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, June 12, 2014) The Russian Federation, by focusing on the construction of “oligarchic capitalism,” essentially “threw all the union republics” to their own fates, and as a result, the governments and peoples have turned away from Moscow and ethnic Russians are fleeing back to Russia, thus further undermining Russian influence. That harsh […]

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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

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

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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The collapse of the USSR and the illusion of progress

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(opendemocracy.net – John Weeks – May 26, 2014) John Weeks is Professor Emeritus, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, and author of ‘Economics of the 1%: How mainstream economics serves the rich, obscures reality and distorts policy’, Anthem Press, published earlier this year. The collapse of the USSR was the occasion for much rejoicing. But 25 years […]

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Interfax: Russia’s ruling party distances itself from MP Vladimir Zhirinovskiy’s territorial claims on Ukraine

Vladimir Zhirinovsky file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, March 20, 2014) The parliamentary majority does not share [LDPR party leader] Vladimir Zhirinovskiy’s view that Russia has to expand its borders by incorporating Donbass [industrial area of Ukraine around Donetsk] and some other regions of Ukraine. “I would like to comment on the LDPR leader and say that some of his calls and judgments are not […]

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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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Absorbing Ukraine Would Destroy Russia, Moscow Commentator Says

Maidan Square file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, February 10, 2014) Vladimir Putin would view drawing Ukraine into a single economic and political arrangement with Russia as an enormous geopolitical achievement, but if he were to succeed initially, the Kremlin leader would be setting the stage for the demise of the Russian Federation itself, according to a Moscow commentator. In […]

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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

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

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: 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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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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Putin’s Imperial Integration Plans are ‘Insanity,’ Inozemtsev Says

Vladimir Putin file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 12, 2013) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to re-integrate the former Soviet space not only will fail because integration presupposes “a unity of culture, economics and culture rather than seeking to seize the most territory” but will undermine the possibilities for Russia’s own development, according to Vladislav Inozemtsev. In an article […]

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Euromaidan: Can’t Ukraine and Russia just get along?

Maidan Square file photo

(Moscow News – moscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – December 11, 2013) With thousands still protesting in Kiev’s streets after Ukraine suspended plans to sign a trade association agreement with the European Union, beleaguered Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is still mulling whom to side with for closer economic cooperation – Russia or Europe. Here are six things Russian President Vladimir Putin […]

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Interfax: Conflicts on former Soviet soil should be settled peacefully – Russian Orthodox Church

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) – Head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations Vsevolod Chaplin has said that peaceful solutions should be found for conflicts in former Soviet states. “People are predetermined to live side-by-side in peace. Enmity, wars and total conflicts, whether they be controllable or uncontrollable, are always bad. We can see this in many events […]

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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: “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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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

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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Populations of Former Soviet Republics Have Fallen or Increased Less than Projected in 1990

Map of Former Soviet Union

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, November 10, 2013 – Chart here: http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/11/window-on-eurasia-populations-of-former.html) The former Soviet space had 48 million fewer people living on it in 2010 than Soviet demographers in 1990 had predicted for that year, with all 15 of the states having smaller populations than were was projected for them and 10 of the 15 having […]

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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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Despite Putin’s ‘Illusions,’ the CIS No Longer Exists, New Times Says

Map of Central Asia, Including Commonwealth of Independent States Members

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 28, 2013) President Vladimir Putin opposes the introduction of a visa regime with the Central Asian countries because he is still “living with the illusions” that the Commonwealth of Independent States of which they are members continues to exist and can serve as the basis for some broader and deeper Russian-led […]

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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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Post-Soviet States Increasingly Vary in Their Relations with Russia, Poll Finds

Eurasia Map

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, October 24, 2013) Some post-Soviet states have “left the post-Soviet space” for good, others are interested in closer ties with Russia, and still others are uncertain about where they are headed, a situation that is further complicated by differences between national leaders and their populations on this point. But any effort to […]

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

EU Map

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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95% Russian natives returning to Russia are from CIS countries – Federal Migration Service

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(Interfax – MOSCOW, September 24, 2013) Over 18,000 applications of those wishing to move back to Russia within the framework of the state program to assist the voluntarily return of Russian natives from abroad were submitted in 2013. “Over 18,000 applications were taken this year. An analysis of the applications shows that the majority of (Russians) are of employable age. […]

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Putin Outlines Priorities of Russia’s Presidency in CSTO

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(RIA Novosti – SOCHI, September 23, 2013) ­ Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday named Russia’s priorities during its presidency in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance of former Soviet states. The CSTO Council, the organization’s supreme ruling body comprising leaders of the six member states, gathered in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Kyrgyzstan handed […]

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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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NEW BOOK: Strategic Cooperation: Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 Subject: New book: Strategic Cooperation:  Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy From: Michael Slobodchikoff <mslobodchikoff@troy.edu> Michael O. Slobodchikoff Lecturer of Political Science Troy University Troy, AL TITLE: Strategic Cooperation:  Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy AUTHOR: Michael O. Slobodchikoff PUBLISHER: Lexington Books (2013) ABSTRACT: Power inequalities and mistrust have characterized many interstate relationships. Yet most […]

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

Map of Western CIS/FSU and European Environs

(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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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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Gazprom Losing Its Markets and Its Clout in Europe and CIS

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, August 29, 2013) Gazprom, one of Moscow’s main sources of leverage in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, is losing its positions in both places, something that has domestic consequences as well because the company is one of the largest taxpayers of the Russian Federation, according to a Moscow analyst. In […]

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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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