Vladimir Putin merely wants every nation within Moscow’s reach to accept that the center of gravity in their region lies roughly at the doors to the Kremlin.
The story of the last few years in the former Communist bloc has been at times grim; we should savor these moments of childhood innocence and promise.
Rather than reacting out of fear, attempting to reduce natural economic links, the wealthier EU states should encourage poorer nations to the east to more fully participate in the economic mainstream.
Countries in Central and Eastern Europe are well-positioned to benefit from a new wave of outsourcing and datacenter development. Over time the former Soviet states could create their own mini-Silicon Valleys.
States which only two decades ago escaped their forced Soviet embrace grew mightily from their increased contact with the rest of Europe. But they remain vulnerable to chills emanating from the Eurozone.
As a curtain of darkness continues to fall over Russia and Romania and so many other places, the world closes its eyes. We have seen this film before, and it never ends well.