Monday Jan 26, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
15o C
9o 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)  
SYRIZA´s win will test institutions
The challenge for Tsipras and others
Consensus and rejuvenation
A SYRIZA government in Greece: what it wants and what might be possible
What now for Greece after anti-bailout SYRIZA wins vote?
After five years of relentless belt- tightening, Greeks have said enough. It’s now up to the country’s euro-area peers to decide how to respond to the electoral landslide of the anti-austeri...
Tsipras forges anti-austerity coalition in challenge to EU
Greek Prime Minister-elect Alexis Tsipras forged an anti-austerity alliance within hours of his election victory, challenging European peers with a declaration that the era of bowing to inte...
Inside News
IMF´s Lagarde rules out special treatment for Greece
Greece must respect the euro zone's rules and cannot demand special treatment for its debt in the wake of the victory of anti-austerity party Syriza, International Monetary Fund chief Christ...
Greek bank bonds slump after SYRIZA victory raises funding risk
Greek bank bonds slumped after the election of an anti-austerity party heightened investor concerns the nation is on a collision course with the European Union that could derail its bailout ...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Olympiakos overcomes depleted OFI at Iraklio
Easy though it may seem, Olympiakos’s 3-0 win at depleted OFI Crete was rather difficult on Saturday, but was enough to keep the Reds on top on Saturday, as they have maintained their two-po...
BASKETBALL
Tremendous Spanoulis sweeps Laboral Kutxa
A hot second half was enough for Olympiakos to undo visiting Laboral Kutxa and score its fourth win in as many games at the second round of the Euroleague on Friday. The 76-64 final score wa...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. What now for Greece after anti-bailout SYRIZA wins vote?
2. IMF´s Lagarde rules out special treatment for Greece
3. Greek bank bonds slump after SYRIZA victory raises funding risk
4. Tsipras forges anti-austerity coalition in challenge to EU
5. Greek bonds slip on Syriza victory as ECB buying mutes contagion
6. ECB cannot agree to debt relief for Greece, board member says
more news
Today
This Week
1. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
2. Greek Elections 2015: The day after | LIVE
3. SYRIZA's win will test institutions
4. Finnish PM says ready to discuss bailout extension for Greece
5. ECB cannot agree to debt relief for Greece, board member says
6. Tsipras moves to form anti-austerity government after crushing victory
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. Grexit the only way out of ‘valley of tears,’ says Hans-Werner Sinn
3. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
4. No debt writedown or rolling back of reforms for Greece, says Finland's Stubb
5. Greeks fork out nearly 5 pct of their incomes on telecom services
6. QE exclusion a ‘de facto Grexit’
Advertiser Link
SMART WATER Project: Outputs and conclusions of the final conference
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.