Olga Kamenchuk* I. Introduction The death of the Soviet giant left Russia with an illusionary perception of its former brother republics as being unconditional satellites. However, despite the official rhetoric regarding the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as the major focus of Russian politics, until recently Moscow has largely ignored the post-Soviet arena and freed the space for other players. The EU and the US, who originally also perceived the CIS as a realm of Russian influence, have changed their attitudes and stirred up their politics in the region. The `Wider Europe' concept (and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)), together with NATO Partnership programmes, have been the major indicators of the new vision of the West towards Eurasia--a new vision with (possibly) new prospects. Given that Moscow had perceived EUUSRussian politics in the post-Soviet space as a zero-sum game, the complicated cooperation of the former Soviet republics both with the West and with Russia became burdened with the new rivalry. Recent political transformations in the region have further widened the gap both between some of the republics and vis-à-vis the forces that are engaged in this arena. On the one hand, EUUSRussian cooperation projects started to stumble and
European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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