Friday May 29, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
09o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Historical baggage

Soldiers from the Ukrainian Army sit atop combat vehicles as they are blocked by people on their way to the town of Kramatorsk, on Wednesday.

By Costas Iordanidis

In Ukraine, which is on the brink of civil war, it’s not just whether the former Soviet republic will join the Western camp or retain a neutral status reminiscent of Finland before the breakdown of USSR that’s at stake.

Beyond the suffering of ordinary people in the country, at the heart of the bloody conflict lies the question of Russia’s place in the international system; that is, the system which emerged after the end of the Soviet regime and the spread of free market capitalism around the globe – and the ensuing promotion of a uniform political way of doing things.

European countries had held a rather ambiguous stance toward imperial Russia for centuries. As an authoritarian and conservative power, czarist Russia was a precious ally in the survival of the Ancien Regime from the tsunami of the French Revolution and the ambitions of Napoleon Bonaparte. A destabilizing force for the Ottoman Empire, Russia was primarily a threat to the interests of Britain and France.

The problem was solved, as it were, with the victory of the Bolsheviks in 1917, which severed the ties of the Russian Empire to the West. The question returned with renewed intensity with the collapse of the communist system and the end of the Soviet empire.

A first bid to isolate post-communist Russia from the West came in Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations.” That was 1993, and the bid was of course, theoretical. Huntington’s positions sparked controversy in Greece too because, in his understanding, Greece, in cultural terms, did not belong to the European system.

Of course, the Russians were hardly interested in the theories of Western analysts. With Vladimir Putin’s rise to power, they sought to strengthen their economic ties with Europe. Germany is their key partner, and not only because of its energy dependence on Moscow. Berlin appears to have hit a ceiling in its penetration of Western markets, which means that any Teutonic economic expansion will need to be eastward. It is in that context that we need to look at the Eurasian geopolitics recently in vogue among Russian analysts.

Ukraine is in now in turmoil because of its geography and historical baggage. The presence of oligarchs hijacking the political scene utilizing the Russian and Western factors for their own gains has not made things any easier. The international tension is gradually exposing the interests of Germany and the US, which must at some point converge, also taking Russian sensibilities into consideration. Until that happens, the crisis in Ukraine will remain unsolved.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday April 16, 2014 (22:06)  
The eurozone’s ‘ambiguous’ architecture
Only Greece can end its miserable ´Groundhog Day´
FIFA and fair play
Making the right decision
Greece mixes messages on expectations for deal
Greece said Friday that the deadline for reaching an accord to release much-needed bailout funds was the end of June, despite officials raising hopes of a deal being imminent as it flirts wi...
Some blame EU Commission for Greek obstinacy in debt talks
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Some eurozone countries are accusing the European Commission of giving Greece false hope of new loans for less reform effort, but they still want Bruss...
Inside News
Schaueble plays down positive reports from Athens
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble sought to play down Friday assertions by Athens that Greece is on the verge of reaching a deal with its creditors. "The positive reports out of Ath...
Greek bank deposits fall to lowest in more than a decade
Greek bank deposits have fallen to their lowest in more than a decade, new statistics show, as Greeks worried about their new government's painfully slow negotiations with creditors withdraw...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Panathinaikos conquers PAOK through Tavlaridis goal
A Stathis Tavlaridis goal has brought Panathinaikos to practically within one point from clinching a spot in next season’s Champions League qualifiers, as the Greens made it three out of thr...
SOCCER
AEK Athens returns to top league after financial collapse
Greek club AEK Athens has just returned to the country's top soccer league, two years after financial collapse sent it to a lower league. One of the country's largest clubs, AEK sealed its s...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greece mixes messages on expectations for deal
2. Schaueble plays down positive reports from Athens
3. Greek bank deposits fall to lowest in more than a decade
4. Some blame EU Commission for Greek obstinacy in debt talks
5. 12 Russians injured in lightning strike at ruins on Crete
6. Next Greek aid program isn’t on table yet, says Moscovici
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece creditors say no deal near as G-7 frustration vented
2. Only Greece can end its miserable 'Groundhog Day'
3. Next Greek aid program isn’t on table yet, says Moscovici
4. 12 Russians injured in lightning strike at ruins on Crete
5. Some blame EU Commission for Greek obstinacy in debt talks
6. The eurozone’s ‘ambiguous’ architecture
Today
This Week
1. Hotel contracts with a ‘Greek default clause’
2. Some 300 mln left banks on Tuesday
3. Neither Grexit nor a dual currency will solve Greece’s problems
4. No more 'quick and dirty' fixes for Greece
5. Romantic notions meet reality
6. Tsipras faces down radicals within SYRIZA over terms of deal
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.