In a little-noticed news item last week, Lithuania announced that it will re-open talks with its fellow Baltic states and Hitachi to open a nuclear plant outside of Visaginas.
Georgia’s ancient wine industry has transformed from a low quality, single market provider to a diverse, sophisticated, increasingly international supplier of respected vintages — all because of a 2006 Russian embargo.
Europe is tired of the Gazprom monopoly and isn’t going to take it any more. At least, that appears to be the message from Lithuania, which will take over the European Union’s rotating presidency in July.
Culturally, Armenia is closer to Russia than it is to Europe as a whole, and proximity and the relationships of their respective ruling classes make a closer union between the old Soviet states more likely than not in the long run.
It is also important to remember that in almost every state of the former Soviet Union, there are large portions of the population who would gladly return to the USSR — this video is aimed at them.
This thaw is almost certainly a result of the realization that the constant bludgeoning Ukraine took from Brussels over every failure strengthened apologists for Russia against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s hard pivot to the EU.
In Riga, former Waffen SS members drawn from Latvia — and, in a worrying development, younger generations — march in the streets in remembrance of the people who killed Jews and Slavs as equally bereft of humanity.
A hard government need not have a poor economy. It is a testament to Lukashenko and his cronies that they can neither manage functional democracy nor economic growth.
Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is being challenged to demonstrate that his government can be friends with both Europe and Russia. The charge that the new government is moving the country eastward is a frequent claim with few specifics behind it.
Cyprus can only serve as both a warning shot to and a bad example for former Soviet states desperate to enter the European Union, a statement that the law can be disregarded if the victim is small and unliked.