Cite this
Article TitleA BLESSING IN DISGUISE: HOW THE KREMLIN HAS BECOME THE DRIVER OF UKRAINIAN REFORMS
Author(s)Pavel Kazarin
SourceCurrent Digest of the Russian Press, The ,  No.48,  Vol.067, November  23, 2015, page(s):16
Rubric
  • OTHER POST-SOVIET STATES
  • Ukraine
Place of PublicationMinneapolis, USA
Size5.6 Kbytes
Words920
Persistent URLhttps://dlib.eastview.com/browse/doc/45952742

A BLESSING IN DISGUISE: HOW THE KREMLIN HAS BECOME THE DRIVER OF UKRAINIAN REFORMS

Author: Pavel Kazarin

A BLESSING IN DISGUISE: HOW THE KREMLIN HAS BECOME THE DRIVER OF UKRAINIAN REFORMS. (By Pavel Kazarin. Slon.ru, Nov. 24, 2015, https://slon.ru/posts/60205. Complete text:) Russia is closing its border to Ukrainian goods. Starting Jan. 1, everything forbidden to import from the European Union as part of the countersanctions will be forbidden to import from Ukraine as well. This means meat and dairy products, fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and seafood.

A tit for tat from Kiev wasn't long in coming. Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk has already promised to respond in kind with a counterembargo on Russian goods. Apparently, starting in January, the two countries will move slightly farther apart, and underestimating the drift would be a mistake. After all, this is not about the economy: It is about strategic policy.

The leader of the world proletariat used to assert that politics is the most concentrated expression of economics. Actually, this maxim goes both ways. And in the last couple of decades, Russia, by placing politics before its economy, has forced its neighbors to place economic interests before politics.

[Food restrictions imposed by Russian Chief Public Health Inspector] Gennady Onishchenko; the sticker price of [natural] gas; trade wars - the toolkit for "forced friendship" has always been the same. By and large, the Kremlin's main allies are tied to Russia not because of some values-based paradigm, but because of economic factors. And until recently, Ukraine was no exception.

Moreover, the Ukrainian political forces commonly referred to as pro-Russian were such merely because they were backed by business clans interested in the Russian market. And now, in essence, Moscow itself is cutting loose the economic anchor chains, thus shifting the geopolitical and geoeconomic border. That boundary no longer passes through Ukraine, but along its eastern border.

Yes, Moscow is currently only talking about limiting the deliveries of food products from Ukraine, but the ...

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