As a new round of Russian-EU negotiations on visa-free travel begins, the difficult task of improving the process by which citizens of Russia and the CIS obtain Schengen visas remains.
Neither the expansion of NATO—even if Russia is added—nor the European security pact proposed by Medvedev alone are capable of uniting Europe. What is needed is the creation of a common security zone encompassing all of these states in which war and the use of armed forces would be abolished.
The tragic death of the Polish president might give Poland and Russia a chance to move beyond their historical animosity, but it will still take hard effort on both sides to break away from the past and at long last come to terms with each other.
The visa facilitation agreements with the EU have made getting visas easier and cheaper, but they have not significantly diminished the amount of time it takes, nor have they simplified procedures for obtaining long-term multi-entry visas.
History is being newly politicized in Russia and in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and history itself is becoming a field of politics, but historians can and should resist manipulation by politicians.
Viktor Yanukovich will likely be the winner of the presidential election in Ukraine, and once in office, he will have to confront the biggest risk to Ukraine's independence and security: a continuation of divided government and policy paralysis.
Viktor Yanukovich's apparent victory in the second round of presidential elections should not be interpreted as the end of Ukraine's democratic experiment. Ukrainian politics is set to remain multi-polar for the foreseeable future.
Russia’s current ruling elite understands the threat posed by an ethnic project of nation-building and, therefore, seeks to adhere to a supranational concept of Russia as a civilization.
The first round of the Ukrainian presidential election brought no particular surprises. Regardless of who wins in the second round, Russian-Ukrainian relations will get a positive new boost.
Whoever wins the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine must lead a country divided by identity issues and hit hard by the global financial meltdown, while maintaining a delicate balance between Western integration and Eastern cultural roots and affinities.