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Putin's Russia: Too Weak to Stop Ukraine Joining Europe, But Will Try

Ukraine finds itself in the middle of an old cultural battleground between Russia and Europe, explains Charles Crawford for the Telegraph. “Ukraine had no independent existence as a state until the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991,” he explains. “In 2004 the ‘Orange Revolution’ saw the first big Ukrainian convulsion over this question after huge popular protests against clumsily rigged elections.” Europe offered the Ukraine an “association agreement,” and the country must decide if it wants to follow Poland’s path of pursuing NATO and EU membership or maintain close ties with Russia. Protesters are once again out in force in Kiev. Crawford notes, “the real problem for the demonstrators in trying to work out what to do with all this popular energy is that the European Union cares less about Ukraine than it says it does, whereas Moscow cares a lot.” Siding with Europe requires years of negotiations and reform; sticking with Russia may seem easy and swift, yet poses its share of uncertainty, too. – YaleGlobal

Putin's Russia: Too Weak to Stop Ukraine Joining Europe, But Will Try

Ukraine is in the middle of an old cultural battleground between Russia and Europe, but the trend is for former Soviet republics to drift toward the EU
Charles Crawford
The Telegraph, 2 December 2013
Click here for the article in The Telegraph.

Charles Crawford retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2007. He was HM Ambassador in Sarajevo (1996-1998), in Belgrade (2001-2003) and most recently in Poland (2003-2007). He is a founder member of ADRg Ambassadors and his personal website is www.charlescrawford.biz

Source:The Telegraph
Rights:© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2013