Ukrainian developments once again show that the Western integration processes in the post-Soviet republics are very much linked to and are conditional on Russia's own Western integration orientation.
Indeed, what happens in Ukraine in the coming weeks and months will be an important indicator of the shape of things to come for the post-Soviet space.
Significantly, in a major speech at Stanford University (alma mater of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice) on September 20, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned against the real danger of blundering into another Cold War.
Will Russia and the West cooperate in Ukraine instead of pulling in opposite directions? Will Ukraine be allowed to settle into acting as a bridge between the West and Russia? The trend is likely to be Ukraine itself not wanting to be integrated in a form that separates it from Russia. If so, will it prompt a remedial course on the part of the West to draw Russia itself closer to it? The post-Soviet space will be keenly awaiting the answers to these questions.
Monday, October 10, 2005
The former Indian diplomat posted to Islamabad, Kabul, Tashkent and Moscow writes that events are tilting Moscow's way: