Though Russia’s Vladimir Putin denies trying to recreate the USSR, he’s certainly made efforts to form a trade bloc to rival the EU, United States and China – a shift that smells of the Soviet days. The proposed bloc (of only three nations) has a GDP of $2.7 trillion and a total population of 170 million people.
Last Thursday, Putin claimed, “Our meeting today is special, it has an epochal significance. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are signing the treaty of the Eurasian Economic Union. This document raises our countries to a brand-new level of integration.”
Ukraine, of course, was nowhere to be seen during the proceedings, which makes sense. The timing is perfect for the new bloc considering the Ukrainian crisis could be entering a new season.
Just recently, Ukraine’s “Chocolate King,” President Petro Poroshenko, ordered an assault against what he calls terrorists, resulting in dozens of deaths. Such high violence during the past several days has nudged separatist leaders more towards Putin. In fact, Denis Pushilin, one of the leaders, has reiterated that they “want to become a part of Russia. Help us stop this war, this genocide. We ask you to stop the killing of peaceful civilians.”
So, what is a man like Putin to do?
A Twist in the Plot
This brings us to his ultimate dilemma: to help the separatists or to keep a softer tone, as was adopted following Poroshenko’s election?
You see, Russia agreed to take a step back by pulling troops from Ukraine’s border and working with the new Ukrainian president. But Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, explains that the offer has certain conditions…
“The matter can no longer be moved forward just by simple talks. Perhaps more efficient mediation efforts are needed to stop the violence, including, above all, the punitive operation, and to start dialogue with mutual respect.”
Though Ukraine seems to be going to ruins, markets say otherwise, as they pin high hopes on the new president. Thus far, Russia has been accepting in nature, and that alone gives hope for both Ukraine and Russia to work things out.
In the latest update, Putin and Poroshenko are expected at D-Day commemorations in France this week – another opportunity for both powers to hash things out. However, there are no precise plans of doing so.
In Pursuit of the Truth,
Politics Research Team