Georgia is now indisputably tilted more toward Moscow than it has ever been. It continues to claim a European future, but its dominant political class is coming to see the value of Moscow not merely as a trading and foreign policy partner, but as a governing model.
Every great power in the region is courting the landlocked little crossroads within an inch of its life.
While Georgia has gone very far to show its European bona fides, its recent actions speak of a nation not so much hungry for Europe as expecting it.
There is a tragedy here, one that goes even beyond the thousand and one failures of governance that marks this as perhaps the very worst run of the former Soviet Republics.
Officially, the mine accounts for 10 percent of GDP, and employs thousands of locals. Unofficially, its total impact on the official economy is 30 percent, and its impact on the shadow economy is even higher.
With so many credible allegations of wrongdoing remaining, baseless demands for Tymoshenko to be pardoned must not stand in the way of a true commitment both to the law and to a serious policy toward Ukraine.
A petition is making the rounds in Latvia to dismantle a World War II memorial that commemorates the Soviet “liberators” who brutally pushed out the Nazis after brutally occupying the state years before.
Rakhmon is a despot who has done most of the damage he can do; Tajiks assume Bobonazarova could be as bad or worse, and without the bad stuff already done.
Transnistria is taking on a significance totally disproportionate to its size. It is as if Russia’s regional anxieties are being played out on the smallest stage of all.
That Azerbaijan held a clean, orderly election among so many difficulties is a tribute to a nation once firmly under the Soviet thumb.