Sunday Jan 25, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Imperial games in Ukraine

By Nikos Konstandaras

Every nation’s desire to determine its own course is so strong that it provokes fears in others, who do all they can to maintain their own balance. When this will for autonomy is suppressed, the result is explosive and unpredictable; when satisfied, it can lead to revolutionary change. This is what 19th- and 20th-century history shows, with empires declining and nation states rising. Today the desire for autonomy is expressed either through separatist movements within countries or through the search for prosperity through alliances with other countries.

Today, the European Union is, in a fashion, the equivalent of old empires – with the great difference that this is a union of autonomous nations who want to join it, not to break away. The violence in the heart of Ukraine’s capital in recent days has its roots in the peaceful protests that broke out when the government suddenly stopped the country’s moves toward closer ties with the EU, something which many saw as the road to prosperity. After three months, the demonstrations erupted into violence when the government reneged on a deal to weaken the president’s powers.

The Ukrainian drama is playing out against a backdrop of EU-Russian rivalry. Europe has encouraged the calls for closer ties with Ukraine, while Russia is afraid of losing influence in a country that is part of its identity in terms of history, geography and economics. The EU, as a modern empire, wants to affect events but it does not know how to project power – provoking the exasperation and ridicule of the US. Russia, as the Soviet empire’s successor, knows very well how to play the game: The troubles started last November when Moscow made clear to Kiev that closer ties between Ukraine and the EU would have direct consequences on relations with Russia. President Viktor Yanukovych was forced to choose between the expectation of future benefits from the EU or the immediate fallout from Russian sanctions against his poor country.

The West and Russia, as if obliged to replay the Cold War, have not come to any agreement which would enable the protagonists in Ukraine to escape the circle of violence. The issue is complicated: The Ukrainian president is elected but has acted in a most authoritarian way; the opposition forces have a right to protest, but no one will benefit from a collapse of the state; Russia does not want to look weak in its neighborhood; some European countries support the protests but worry about separatist tendencies within their own borders.

No one can gain from bloodshed in Ukraine. Whoever can influence the protagonists has to make it clear that further support is not guaranteed, that if the conflict does not stop now the country will cross the point of no return.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday February 20, 2014 (22:03)  
The train
The future is in your hands
A guide to Greek elections
The elections and the ‘foreign factor’
Tsipras aims for deal with lenders by this summer
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras will aim to conclude an agreement with Greece’s international lenders by the summer if his party is able to form a government after Sunday’s elections. In a tele...
New highway still in limbo
The government approved a few days ago the payment of another 19.8 million euros to the firm that has constructed the 77-kilometer new Maliakos Gulf section of the Athens-Thessaloniki highwa...
Inside News
Draghi’s QE promise to Greece depends on debt-market math
Greece’s inclusion in the European Central Bank’s bond-buying plan this year doesn’t just depend on its new government sticking to a bailout program. It also relies on some debt-market arith...
Eurozone to discuss another extension
Monday’s Eurogroup will discuss the possibility of another extension to Greece’s bailout program in the aftermath of Sunday’s general election, even if it is not yet certain the next governm...
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. Olympiakos overcomes depleted OFI at Iraklio
2. Draghi’s QE promise to Greece depends on debt-market math
3. Tremendous Spanoulis sweeps Laboral Kutxa
4. Eurozone to discuss another extension
5. S&P sees red over ‘Euroskeptic’ governments
6. Tsipras aims for deal with lenders by this summer
more news
Today
This Week
1. Draghi’s QE promise to Greece depends on debt-market math
2. The train
3. The future is in your hands
4. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
5. A guide to Greek elections
6. From prison, Greece's Golden Dawn runs quiet but vitriolic campaign
Today
This Week
1. Piraeus Bank is third lender to request ELA
2. Grexit the only way out of ‘valley of tears,’ says Hans-Werner Sinn
3. Fitch lowers Greece credit outlook to 'negative'
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. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.