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>we arrive at the logical conclusion that NATO's 'expansion' to East was indeed anti-Russian step in its essence.<

and the EU expansion?

by IM on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 05:16:42 AM EST
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I'm not sure that Russian elite (its various clans to be exact) has a firm view on relations with the EU and EU's expansion.

As I said, they tend to look for the American involvement in these projects and react to them. More often then not they are clumsy, aggressive and look like that they dislike the whole Western integration project even if they only really hate/fear few of its pieces (said American involvement primarily).

We saw that in summer 2013 when Kremlin mounted an economic pressure on Kiev due to the coming Eastern Partnership/DCFTA deal. They started blocking various Ukrainian export projects and creating media pressure. There was a nice Spiegel article on the prelude of the Maidan and Yanukovich's refusal to sign EaP, where they said that in the private meeting at the one of the Moscow airports Putin laid out the Russian capabilities to economically hurt Ukraine if the treaty with EU was signed. Yanuk came back to Kiev and asked some economic institute to calculate the whole possible damage. He told Stefan Fuhle that the estimate was in the area of 150B$. Fuhle was mad since he thought that Yanukovich is simply lying and is refusing to sign the EaP for selfish political reasons alone.

But in essence, Russian politicians usually say that they do not fear the EU alone, either because they are friendly to it or because they have a disdain for it. Putin said so repeatedly. Ironically, when they were hitting Ukraine over EaP/DCFTA issue they were again acting over fear that it will irreversibly suck Ukraine into American orbit, not just EU.

Russian have a true difficulty of systematically telling apart separate American geopolitical interests from European (either through EU or nationally) interests and from various other promotions of social norms (human rights, democracy, rule of law etc etc).

Sorry for long posts, I just want to be clear. :)  

by Prospero on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 10:40:00 AM EST
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Better write diaries than be sorry for long comments...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Mar 7th, 2015 at 10:53:02 AM EST
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That just proves that the russion babbling about NATO is just a pretext. They don't want any ex-satellites moving out of their orbit in any way.
by IM on Sun Mar 8th, 2015 at 08:51:37 AM EST
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Eh, of course they don't like it. But usually they don't send tanks volunteers spending their holidays in the old brother republics.
by generic on Sun Mar 8th, 2015 at 09:07:51 AM EST
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I don't think it does.

Bitching about the broken promise serves to give a bit of morality and a more legitimate wrapping to the 'NATO is endangering Russia' position in front of the local and global auditorium.

But it is not the cause of that fear, nor its eventual falsehood (if it is the case) in any way makes their fear less real and less truthful when they speak of it.

by Prospero on Sun Mar 8th, 2015 at 04:49:02 PM EST
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