Germany has had to rethink its relations with its European partners twice in four years: in 2010, when the sovereign debt crisis hit the euro area - and following the winter of 2013/14, when Ukraine's westward course triggered a conflict with Russia.
The recent visit of the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Crimea showed everyone that Russia will remain firm on its positions, but the fact that it was the “younger” member of the tandem to go to the newly acquired “historically Russian” lands seems to leave space for negotiations.
The deal struck last Friday by the leaders of the so-called Independent Square protest and the President Viktor Yanukovich may prove a major progress in the Ukrainian crisis. The agreement has put an end to the violent clashes with the police that in the previous days had reportedly caused more than a hundred dead in Kiev and across the country, pushing back the prospect of a potentially devastating civil war.
Recent events in Ukraine have been depicted in many ways depending on who is narrating the story of the Euromaidan and what is his perception of the symbolic meaning of the actions under scrutiny: as a revolution against a corrupt political system, as a civil war, as a genuine proof of the Euro-dream for change of Ukrainian people who are ready to die defending their ideals, as a coup d’état and so on.
Ahead of the Vilnius Summit (November 28-29, 2013) EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton promised that the high-level meeting would “open a new chapter” in the relationship between the EU and its eastern neighbours. What came out of the Summit, however, resembles discovering to read an old chapter with Ukraine’s decision not to sign the Association Agreement (AA) being the unexpected bitter surprise for Brussels.
The reactions to the project of Eurasian Union, which was announced by Vladimir Putin after declaring his candidacy to the last presidential elections, have been mainly negative. Some observers have charged him of neo-imperialism, others have expressed their open skepticism about the effectiveness of this proposal. Anyway, the project of a new political integration in the post-Soviet space should be seriously considered, mainly because it could offer a strategic - not only ideological - way of exploiting the paramount opportunities offered to Russia by the dramatic rise of the Far East.
The post-Soviet space is fluid and competitive with many actors, besides Russia, chasing their interests. Recently, also China has
In 2010 President Yanukovich declared that Ukraine would be a “bridge between the West and Russia”. His first official visit abroad was to Brussels stressing Ukraine’s European choice while his first significant foreign policy act was the signing of Kharkiv accords with Russia.