Rather than thinking about some grand architecture for the future, all sides of the current Russian-Western conflict should step away from the brink.
The sensational appointment of Mikheil Saakashvili to run Odessa will shake up both Ukraine and Georgia.
If the Eastern Partnership were all about the EU, money, and visas, it would have made sense. But it’s just a useless attempt to fill the void along the EU’s eastern borders. The only real goal is to divide post-Soviet Europe into Russia and “not Russia.”
There is sobering news for the EU in two new polls from Georgia and Moldova, showing that public support for the European project is faltering.
The EU needs to remold its support for fundamental political reform in Eastern Partnership partner states—and use this as a firmer base from which to assuage tensions with Russia.
Ukrainian society—particularly sectors that pushed for greater accountability and transparency during the EuroMaidan Revolution—and Western governments, particularly the United States, are pushing Poroshenko to rein in the oligarchs.
The conflict in Ukraine is anything but frozen. The dynamics of this conflict are driven as much by Ukrainian domestic affairs and local commanders’ decisions in the conflict zone as they are by any Cold War-style stand-off between East and West.
Old totalitarian practices can reemerge with new symbols, from new directions. And a struggle against the symbols of past unfreedom isn’t enough to protect against a lack of liberty in its latest incarnation.
The tensions in Russian-Western relations will not lead to a direct collision between Russia and NATO. The current surge of mutual psychosis has no relation to the military security.
The fact that the process of prisoner exchanges is still incomplete after months of fits and starts volumes about the messiness of the situation in eastern Ukraine.