3 September, 2013 16:16 ▪
Paule Goble: Moscow will ‘Loose’ Ukraine and Belarus just as it earlier ‘Lost’ the Baltic States
“By pursuing the short-term profit goals of Russian oligarchs out of the conviction that this will promote Russia’s interest rather than considering the possible impact of such an approach on Russian national interests, Moscow is alienating Ukraine and Belarus, two Slavic neighbors it has long viewed as its inevitable allies and possibly more”, says Mr. Goble. Consequently, Russia may “lose” these two countries just as it did with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the three Baltic states now firmly part of the NATO and the EU.
After Ukraine was subjected to economic pressure by Russian government in the middle of August, Russia appeared to be doing the same with Belarus: “promoting the interests of oligarchs at the expense of ties between the two countries”.
Moscow’s approach, first to the Baltic countries and more recently to Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova (which was mostly in the form of economic pressure or the rise of prices for energy sources) shows that Russia doesn’t learn on its mistakes. “It makes clear that over the last two decades and after ensuring by its actions that the Baltic states would do everything they could in order to join NATO and the EU, the Kremlin—like the French House of Bourbon before it—has forgotten nothing and learned nothing. However, the costs of alienating Ukraine and Belarus will be even larger than those associated with “the loss” of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania”, says expert.
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