Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Russia, Mother Again, Not Father

An interesting spin on events:

The former republics of the Soviet Union for the most part have completed the process of becoming independent states. These countries have achieved full-fledged statehood and are not at risk of losing that status in the foreseeable future.

The post-Soviet states are entering a new stage of development. During the first phase, each tried to decide which ideological stance would be most advantageous. That is now giving way to a more pragmatic approach. In other words, these countries are reconsidering the previous stereotype that Russia is the bogeyman and that Europe is some kind of paradise.

In the 1990s these countries were focused on resolving problems of basic survival and could not look far beyond their borders. Once that was accomplished, the political elite, comprising nationalist and nomenklatura elements, have turned their attention to finding a place for their countries in the greater political picture.

The Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004 was a turning point in the policies of all post-Soviet countries. Moscow's aggressive stance during that period turned out to be so counterproductive that it decided to switch tactics.

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