Ukraine: long term implications

Nick at A Fistful of Euros has an interesting article up about what the Ukraine crisis could mean for the EU a couple of decades from now.

I have a feeling that the Ukrainian crisis may, when we look back at it from ten or twenty years down the line, turn out to be one of those crucial turning points for the EU. It’s not just in terms of the Europe-Russia-US geopolitics that have been discussed quite extensively over the last two weeks, but it’s also important in the EU’s image of itself. It’s reiterated the idea that the countries of the former Eastern Bloc want to join the EU, that it has what Kagan calls ’the power of the attraction’

Ukraine could become a major turning point for Russia too, because many of the very countries that the EU will want to attract are ones that Russia is trying desperately to keep within its sphere of influence. 

If Ukraine one day becomes a candidate for EU membership,  then who is to say that Moldova won’t follow?  Or Georgia?  And beyond those two?  Belarus?  Azerbaijan?  Armenia?

Where does this leave Russia’s policy toward its neighbours?  Will there come a point when Moscow decides it’s interests would be best served by the old adage of "if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em"?

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2 Responses

  1. Alexei says:

    What has long puzzled me is why the EU wouldn’t offer Russia a prospect of EU membership (with a detailed, say, 10-year schedule of requisite reform). Had they done it a decade ago, Europe might stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific now. I’m sure most Russians would favor accepting such an offer, and the benefits to the EU would be enormous — first of all, a degree of control over Russia’s natural resources. That would make the issue of Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus joining the Unions virtually moot.

    Ditto for NATO. Many Russians dislike Western interference in CIS countries not because they don’t trust the West but out of envy. “Why not us? Why don’t you help us?”

  2. stereoscope says:

    Of course russia wants into the EU. What they don’t want is the USA dropping bags of money around to prop up its Popular Front Party Franchise.