JRL NEWSWATCH: “Despite war, post-Soviet states find breaking up with Russia hard to do” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir

Map of CIS Central Asia and Environs

… [At this year’s Victory Day parade,] Putin was joined … by the leaders of seven other post-Soviet countries, including all five former Soviet Central Asian republics, plus Armenia and Belarus. After more than a year of severe stress, many of those countries have sought to distance themselves from embattled Moscow and find alternative avenues for trade, political connections, and security. But it’s not that easy to escape the bonds of geography, history, economic integration, and geopolitical dependence. … [T]he leaders sitting with [] Putin, and a few others …, have discovered … reasons not to burn … bridges …. Most of the Central Asian leaders, and Belarus, run some degree of authoritarian regimes that make them almost as unwelcome in the West as [] Putin …. [And according to] the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development … the war in Ukraine has uprooted traditional trading patterns, with former Soviet neighbors of Russia benefiting enormously from cheap Russian energy exports … while their own exports to Russia – including sanction-evading ones – have proved extremely profitable. …”

Click here for: “Despite war, post-Soviet states find breaking up with Russia hard to do; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine initially shook many of its neighbors into looking for other geopolitical partners. But economic and geographical necessity is returning them to Moscow’s orbit.” – Christian Science Monitor/ Fred Weir