georgia

Last month, the European Union signed sweeping trade and association accords with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The deals are designed to cement economic and political ties between the EU and the three former Soviet republics, to the chagrin of Moscow which has sought to lock them into its own sphere of influence through a Russian-led Eurasian customs union. Leaders of the three countries hailed the agreements as historic steps towards their full integration into the European mainstream.

What a great day, perhaps the most important day for my country after independence day” declared Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, after signing the agreement at a summit in Brussels. He urged EU leaders to go further and hold out the prospect of eventual membership for Ukraine, saying it would “mean the world for my country.

As yet however, the EU’s offer of a closer partnership does not include any membership pledge.

Where do you think the future lies for these three countries on the EU’s eastern flank? Would a pledge of eventual membership bolster stability in a troubled neighbourhood? Does the Union have a moral responsibility to welcome in all European democracies – especially those like Ukraine where citizens have shed blood in support of European ideals? Or is another eastward enlargement a step too far for an EU that’s already struggling to function with 28 members?

The EU’s treaty says that any European state that meets requirements of democracy, human rights, rule of law and fundamental freedoms can apply to join the Union. Yet in recent years there’s clearly been a growth in “enlargement fatigue” among voters in the EU’s existing member countries. Eurosceptic parties have made gains with warnings that previous enlargements have seen a flight of investment to the east and an influx of immigrants heading west.

With Turkey, Iceland and five candidates in the western Balkans already lined up as possible members, do you believe the EU already reached the limits of expansion? Or would bringing in new members to the east inject fresh life into the flagging European project? Would membership for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova strengthen Europe against a “dangerous” new Russian expansionism? Or should the EU avoid provoking the bear with its outreach to Moscow’s “near abroad?” Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below and we’ll take them to policy-makers for their reaction!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Vladimer Shioshvili

145 comments Post a commentComment


    • nika

      Why haha ?

  1. Pavlos Papathanasiou

    Russia is “dangerous” only in some bureaucrats’ minds or at least it is no more dangerous than Merkel’s EU, who is willing to turn into her new economic Lebensraum!!!

  2. Christina Podkolina

    Why would the “Russian expansionism” be dangerous? And why Europe should be against anything Russian? Isn’t it in both Russian and EU interests to trade and neighbor peacefully?

  3. Spyros Kouvoussis

    i think there is no “dangerous russian expansionism” only really dangerous EU expansionism. EU threatened the people of Bosnia to surpress their uprising if they didn’t go back to work. They were demanding nationalisation of companies, stop to privatizations, rights and benefits for workers. The EU supports a fascist government in Ukraine which just announced a pla of sell off of public companies and more rounds of austerity for the people. At the same time, the oligarchs are not paying a single dollar to their country.

    The question is why we should continue putting up with a union which only serves the interests of the extremely rich at the expense of the society.

  4. Umberto Banchieri

    The answer is yes, but European Union need also a real unified international politics and unified defense politics. Not only economy can stop the Russia new-imperialist way made by Putin and some extremist like Dugin.

  5. Candy Jalloul

    Wouldn’t make any difference to EU – Russian relations . It would just strengthen moldova’s Ukraine’s and Georgia’s sovereignty .

  6. Christiane Vermoortel

    A dangerous new Russian expansionism ? On what planet are you living ? And what about the dangerous new NATO (=US) expansionism ?

  7. Conrad Wallenrod

    Yes. And block Soviet Union 2 with its army of internet trolls on Kremlins payroll, army of spies. Show the middle finger to the Moscow stallinist scum

    • proactive

      ….why so unfriendly to transformed member “Russia” who joined the capitalist market economy? Still in cold war mode? Shame!

  8. Matej Zaggy Zagorc

    The EU is far too much americanized. Like everything that has to do with Russia is bad, Russia shouldn’t be allowed to do anything, while on the other hand the US can do pretty much anything and the EU is its bitch. Pardon my language, but it’s true.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Matej Zaggy Zagorc
      So you want the EU to be Russia’s B###h eh?

  9. Giorgi

    It’s too early to talk about their membership prospects. as well as bringing up fatigue argument is slightly irrelevant. Not that they are joinning the club next year. However I believe those countries deserve a chance as much as Balkans.

  10. fadia

    No, they are not ready and neither the old countries to receive them. Stop to the enlargement if we can’t survive

    • proactive

      ….are you a stamp collector?

  11. Fadia Khraisat

    Stop to the enlargement we can’t survive…there is no dangerous from russia….look at gaza, and stop to the new entrances, we are tired of new countries that are not europe

  12. Jude De Froissard

    it is up to them to decide…besides..Moldova is a country created after it was taken away from Romania. .they speak romanian and their flag is similar.I also believe russia should have very close and privileged ties with the E.U.

  13. Savas Ozyurt

    They have a cross in their flag, so why not. Everyone with a cross in the EU, everyone without stay out, right?

    • Dan

      Well Christina, the person who should learn more about Moldova is you. No offence, but Jude is right 100%. And…….I’m Moldova citizen, just in case.

    • proactive

      …….yes, just remember the EU was conceived during the cold war times- it shows!

  14. Rui Jamp

    More??? Let a Country in without solving the mess EU is right now? EU is in a economic, financial and social mess. If someone jumps in it is only one more to suffer economic and socially. If you think EU is OK just come in each Country for 2 weeks, study, and feel if is a just and good union. It is not. It is not guarding peoples rights and well being, it is protecting big banks and big enterprises. It is allowing a big difference in people, with some getting millions a year, while others are hungry with no work. Just look at Portugal, closely and you will see that the EU is rotten and letting fascism grow. So, no i think the ones that will enter will suffer.

  15. Karel Van Isacker

    Your postings are for quite some time already anti Russian. I am more concerned about irresponsible EU expansionism.

  16. Alex Semiserios

    Christina Podkolina, well, I don’t know, look at the map. Russia is not exactly a small country, unlike its neighbors in Central-Eastern Europe, some of which were subject to Russian rule in the past. If you are from Russia, by all means criticize the West for its own hypocrisy, but please do not claim that your country doesn not have an expansionist foreign policy, because that just wouldn’t be honest.

    • Dan

      Yes, but Russian nationality! At least, judging by the surname…………..;)

  17. Jaume Roqueta

    on the other hand… I though if a state member is in a civil war can not be in the EU…is this right?…

  18. Jaume Roqueta

    it seems debaitn europe has a political opinion a propaganda… EU should not rivalize with Russia… but it seems in this post you allready say… “dangerous Russiona expansionism”… what is dangerous is the amount of killers and bastards in the EU gobernment that destroys our health care and social institutions for a bailout… you say you are friends… you are not… you are thiefs… people that do not respect human lifes…

  19. Jaume Roqueta

    what about the dangerous expansionism of Israel?… ou shit… you are israelians isnt it? who pays you?

  20. Vinko Rajic

    Those countries together with Russia should join EU , the greatest democracy in the World .

  21. Paul Niland

    The EU is expanding due to the fact that countries chose to sign up to be a part of this system. Russia is attempting to expand by seizing territory from other countries militarily. They have taken Crimea and only a blind fool cannot see that they are behind the troubles in eastern Ukraine right now. The leaders of the insurgency in Ukraine are Russian, not Ukrainian (Borodai, Strelkov) the fighters are predominantly mercenaries from Russia, those who are not mercenaries are motivated to go to Ukraine by the shocking catalogue of lies told through the Kremlin controlled media in Russia. The heavy equipment they have is Russian made and it has been shipped through Russian territory over the Russian border into Ukraine. In 2008 Russia effectively annexed parts of Georgia. They are constant threats to the Baltic states coming from Russia. And, worst of all, Russia has a mad man at the helm. I’m not saying that EU membership will make any difference to any of these countries with regard to the threat from Russia (in Moldova the Russian backed break away region, or frozen conflict, is called Transdnistra) as the EU isn’t a military block, but these countries have simply all signed up to enter the rules based system on which the EU is based and it is their absolute sovereign right to do so.

    • Kroum G. Balabanov

      Paul, I agree with almost everything you wrote, except probably the “madman”. In the context of his paradigms (distrust of the West & the notion of Rivalry between Russia & the West) Putin is rational, just the same way he is about posponing the implementation of necessary reforms as too risky. It is an oligarchic system, where his cronies are billionaires. Why risk the status quo? Better play the strings of Russia’s complexes (“the Collapse of the Soviet Union as the Biggest Geopolitical Catastrophe of the XX Cn) and snatch a sliver here and a country there and play grandeur again, instead of opening the country, tackling corruption, enforcing the rule of law…..To us, the poor CEE bugs, the Collapse was a liberation from the reins of a totalitarian system and his rule is the vengeance of the siloviki.The way of populism and nationalism appears by far easier than reforming the country in the midterm. In the long run, Putin will be dead..

    • proactive

      …..and these rights are given to them by whom?

    • Paul X

      No country has a “right” to join the EU, certainly not those who are going to be net beneficiaries from EU funds…… which means any country because you don’t see many rich countries queuing up to join the EU

      The more free loading countries that join the EU means more tax for the people of the paymaster countries…. i.e me

    • proactive

      ……rather enjoy your wine instead of sabre rattling! Nowadays one can work out at “Virgin active” or similar!

  22. Peter Josika

    Russia itself is part of Europe. As such the EU should integrate these states as they will function as a bridge for a truely united future Europe.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Pedro Oliveira
      Don’t forget Latin America, Australasia, Africa…

  23. Baptiste N'tsama

    No, not before 50 years. the UE still has a lot to suffer from the previous enlargement. The priority for now is to go toward federalism

  24. Andrew Lally

    If membership comes with a Marshall Plan for all of Europe then yes.
    But it is imperial overstretch without it. The EU will implode without consolidation of territorial and social and political territory.
    “Old” Europe is pulling away, just as “New” Europe is “living the dream”.
    Western Europe felt cosy, familiar and “solidarity-full”. It no longer feels like that for an Irish or Dutch person, etc.

  25. Drn Grasso

    My thoughts exactly Andrew Lally. I believe the more eastern european countries join, the more western european Member States become euro-sceptic.

    • crayven

      Russia wants its own private club of slave..er..i mean “friendly” states and will not join any European construction.

    • proactive

      ………..what is “European” is determined nowadays by the EU Council and nobody else- capito?

    • crayven

      The racial difference is hardly a good argument, you know.

  26. David Eaton

    Why not, once they adhere to EU regulations on economic regulation, trade, human rights and external affairs.

  27. S.K

    Whether they join or not I know for sure that if they join that the EU will again beg us Swiss to pay money for the modernisation of their dirt poor members, we are used to it, and dont dare come with the solidarity crap, if you want these countries in your EU club so bad then finance them with your own money!

    • proactive

      ………lucky Switzerland is a none EU member! Therefore a none contributor to the EU’s budget- isn’t it? The Swiss retain all 100% of their VAT to spend as directed by their own parliament- not the EU’s! The EU Council is a magicians club & will create money out of “thin air” for their “spellbound puppet show”! Its just paper anyway!

    • S.K

      @proactive, 85% of the Swiss people are aginst Switzerland joining the EU, not out of hate for the EU but out of love for Switzerland.

    • proactive

      …that’s well understood & envied! Many regret their move in hindsight after experiencing to be subjected to the EU Council & their whip! Finally- all will loose their own local governments eventually!

      That is the reason to demand the restructure of this EU monster- also “out of love”! Wished the EUP could muster 85% for a “motion of no confidence” in the Council, the Commission & its own parliament- all of them to be suspended!

  28. Pierre Samu Tandorf

    That’s a clear NO! It would weaken the Union. Our country is big enough and we don’t need any new member states.

  29. S.K

    One day they will expand a little to far and there will be ww3, they will blame the other side, but it wont matter whose fault it is because cities will be rubble, millions dead and the world about to face nuclear winter, Brussels is addicted to expansion, theres a expression ”dont bite off more than you can chew”, Ukraine is proof the EU needs to slow the fuck down.

  30. proactive

    EU’s expansion (now to the East)- is- as always based on “political & market assessments” only. It will become a further drain for those who are net EU contributors to foot the EU Councils bill!

    Basically, the underlying design of the EU expansion policy was created by handful pioneers- under “limited democratic principles”- as stated by the EU Council in its “1993 Copenhagen criteria”. Right or wrong?

    By becoming EU members- all have renounced their capacity to enact important legislation at home- it is checkmate my mate!

    Water under the bridge? Forget it or forget it not? In the meantime, this slimy EU octopus has been dressed in democratic robes & made unquestionable attractive!

    Copenhagen criteria: “Countries’ classification as European is subject to political assessment by the Commission and more importantly—the European Council”!

    Is this not an obvious give away of premeditated undemocratic intend! Yes or no? The EU enlargement is set on autopilot- unstoppable- pasta- finito!

    This tsunami now targets all EU crumbs- all near, or bankrupt states- which will drive up the average debt to GDP ratio of all others. They will become the paymasters (taxpayers & its future generations). Viva global corporatism- never mind how ordinary people will survive & assimilate! Of course, folks in the EU are just numbers, subjects, idiots & may debate till doomsday! Hallelujah EU!

  31. Christina Podkolina

    Lol well NOW that there are cites around the word “dangerous” it sounds pretty funny :D Well done, #DebatingEurope ! ;)

  32. Kevin

    Not until they have the same GDP as Germany

    • Bert van Santen

      And if one thing has become very clear since 2002, is that the European way of integration is a complete failure

  33. DIMITRI

    Lets not be foolish, Russia is only demonizing NATO to galvanize Russians against the west and give them the we’re at war mentality, so that they think we need Tsar Putin in power. What Putin wants is to keep NATO out of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova so that he can rebuild empire, and give authoritarian rule inside Russia legitimacy and Justification in the eyes of your average Ivan and Boris. All good and well for Russia, no harm to the EU, and NATO, but Russia is doing great harm to the political, economic, and social well being to the people of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. This is why the Orange revolution in Ukraine, the Rose revolution in Georgia happened. The Ukrainians revolted against Viktor Yanukovych in 2005, and again now in 2014, twice!!! Russia is beating these countries down with Tanks, rebels, sanctions, espionage, and Europe doesn’t even want to lift a finger to wave at Russia! EUROPE MUST INCORPORATE UKRAINE, GEORGIA, MOLDOVA! EUROPE WHOLE AND FREE!

  34. DIMITRI

    Thank you, countries inside the Eu complain that they are being rules by Brussels and how horrible it is! Rule of law, human rights, independent courts! Those poor EU members! Try being on the periphery of Russia, with no allies, being dictated to by the meat grinder that is the Kremlin! Economic sanctions, espionage, out right military aggression! Just the simple act of the Europeans in keeping the hope in the Georgian people alive that Georgia one day can join NATO, and the EU. It transformed my country for the better! Yes, Georgia is not rich, but we eliminated corruption, state institutions like police, education, municipality are all functioning and corruption free. After living for years having to give out bribes to small officials, and police who only pull you over to extort bribes, It’s like coming to the surface and taking a fresh breath after having been pulled down deep under water, where there is no light, and no hope for a future!

  35. Sten Hubinette

    “eventually” is the key word……..after they have eliminated the corruption of the oligarchs.

  36. Rob Riley

    If they meet the requirements and they share the same set of values as Europeans then sure.

    • Marcel

      I’m quite sure you’re willing to take a significant pay cut and benefits reduction + handing over some of your pension money to pay for that?

  37. crayven

    Ukraine yes, Georgia probably in the long term but not now.
    And Moldova no, Moldova should go to Romania as it is right through history not join ‘separately’.

  38. Angelos Kastritis

    There shouldn’t be even a debate about it…No more new countries who dont have respect to democratic institutions and human rights!!!!!!

  39. Peter Castermans

    Nope, accepting third world countries Romania and Bulgaria was already a mistake. Ukraine, geoargia and Moldova are divided countries (Eastern Ukraine, Abchazia/South Osetia and Transnistria) Quality above Quantity please. For me Russia can have them, gratuit. Many people in these countries are also orthodox and speak russian so.

    • crayven

      These two “third world countries” have economics growth, bud.
      Unlike your “so awesome” first world nations. I would keep my mouth shut if i were you.

    • Marcel

      They have economic ‘growth’ (well, nominal growth anyway) because they have population growth.

      That has always been the reality of the ‘western’ system, population growth. Now population growth is levelling off, economic growth is levelling off. Where is the surprise? I’ve always said the western financial-economic system is unsustainable because it is based on the idea of perpetual population growth and keeing the rest of the world relatively poor.

  40. catherine benning

    Definitely not. A tax freeze must be placed on politicians who want to increase the size of Europe from what it presently is. In other words, no money should be available to crazed individuals who feel they have the right to play with our lives and society regardless of what the citizens of these States want. And an opportunity to vote out people pushing for this expansion must quickly be on offer as an option to be rid of them from our face.

    • proactive

      @Catherine Benning
      Yes, for starters a “budget freeze” for the EU to be set by its docile EUP- (which they never will!) The EU’s budget is in “evolutionary mode” (meaning- not fixed, but fixated to increase!) Its own resources limit” is currently set at 1.24% of the Union’s gross national income (GNI).

      Better explained here: http://www.eu4journalists.eu/index.php/dossiers/english/C91/391/

      Another, but more “imaginary suggestion” would be: a EUP “none confidence vote” into & for the suspension of the EUC, it’s “Executive Commission” & lastly into itself to go on an unpaid “constitutional crises leave- in good faith” (which they also will never agree to!) A temporary hold on all activities- except a “care taker group to switch the EU lights on & off” & a paid Members group to form a “constitutional writing body” to re write & rectify the entire EU multiple patchwork of treaties, articles, statues, agreements & whatever names they created over the last 60 years and consolidate that into a final clear & understandable document- to become the final EU Constitution.

      The participants of this “Constitutional writing body” should include & be limited to the “fifteen by now experienced members” after its fourth enlargement in 1995 but before its 5th enlargement in 2004.

      Explained here:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlargement_of_the_European_Union

      Constitutional Guideline: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/134169/constitution

      That way, the “15 strongest EU members” could reshape- using their experience over the last few decades- and submit a final consolidated new EU document. That needs to be approved unanimously by the core 15 member state’s local parliament first, before adoption. Giving the option to everyone once more for a new design & to opt in or out without penalties, bullying & sanctions!

      Again, more brainstorming, better ideas are always welcome!

    • proactive

      @Catherine Benning

      Agreed, but the EUC does not listen to its citizen! The EU’s budget is in “evolutionary mode”: not fixed, but fixated to increase- currently set at 1.24% of the EU’s GNI) see: http://www.eu4journalists.eu/index.php/dossiers/english/C91/391/

      Switching into “imagination mode”:

      The EUP to lodge a “motion of no confidence” to suspend the EUC, it’s “Executive Commission” & lastly itself- for creating a constitutional crises, instability & following undemocratic principles & policies. It became a risk to Europe, its citizen & world peace. The patchwork of treaties, articles, statues & agreements dating back to 1950- mainly conceived during the cold war- became a complicated labyrinth, difficult to understand, to control, enforce and only serve the biggest global corporations & banks to the disadvantage of ordinary taxpayers and destroys the fabric of a cohesive & assimilated Europe- under a wrong pretext.

      Further, to establish a body to write a new EU Constitution and consolidate that patchwork of treaties etc. into a final fair, clear & understandable document- considering all concerns experienced so far.

      The participants of this “Constitution writing body” should include & be limited to the group of “fifteen by now experienced EU members” as they where after its fourth enlargement in 1995 but before its 5th enlargement in 2004.
      See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlargement_of_the_European_Union

      Approval procedures by all 15 members for a brand new & modern “designed EU Constitution to be added & adopted to their own to follow passing through local parliaments & referendums. …………..Again- better ideas welcome!

    • ironworker

      @Proactive

      Why don’t you say from the very beginning that GDP is your measure of judging other nations ? Now you’re taking. Qatar should make a good candidate for EU membership ?

  41. ironworker

    I would say yes. It doesn’t matter how “poor” they are, that’s a relative measure anyway. Instead, gaining access to natural resources it takes more than a shovel and ax pick. For Europe’s energetic future it’s a small price to pay. Think Big !

    • proactive

      Hi Sir,…………..are you sure? One measure of ground coffee only makes one tasty cup of coffee! Do you mean EU’s “energy” future or Mr. Juncker’s wasted energetic future? Are you thinking coup de grace, coup d’etat or a coup of the EU Council?
      Thinking big about energy- would mean Russia- or do you control the Euro’s printing presses?

    • ironworker

      Hi Sir, to you too. Put it this way, the closer to the oil/gas natural reservoirs other than Russia, the better for Europe. Otherwise it’s not worth the effort, just keep paying Putin’s military upgrades or start fracking your backyard. Keep it simple and on track.

    • catherine benning

      @ Ironworker,

      If you win the lottery millions and think like that, you will very, very quickly, once again, be a poor man. And once you are poor the likelihood of winning a second time is far less than the first. So count on eternal poverty.

      So, to think like you is to have a poor mans mentality. Unfortunately, that thinking will make the whole of Europe a poor mans land, which will only emulate the lands you want to save. Thereby helping no one.

    • proactive

      Thank you, we unfortunately have to restrict ourselves to the despised EU enlargements only- not the global energy game, fracking and risk our only source of drinking water. Import drinking water in future instead?

      Lets only look & study Georgia’s statistics first- check it out:

      http://mecometer.com/whats/georgia/budget-surplus-deficit/

      The GDP per Capita (PPP) of Georgia is 6,100 ($) with a global rank of 141.
      Unemployment is 15%

      The EU will than be in the company of 3rd world countries having a similar total External Debt of Georgia to that of Tanzania, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Oman, Syrian Arab Republic, Azerbaijan, Côte d’Ivoire. Is that attractive?

      The GDP per Capita (PPP) of Georgia is 6,100 ($) with a global rank of 141.

      Do the same with Moldova & Ukraine and let us know afterwards if the EU coffee still smells like real coffee?

    • ironworker

      @Catherine

      What makes then humanity great achievements ? Selfish small time thinking ? Small and over cautious steps ahead ?

    • proactive

      Thank you Ironworker!

      I was hoping you checked the whole & mixed basket of available statistics of the 3 countries- as mentioned- not only GDP. Besides our own subjected choices- it is the EU Council alone who decides about our “Europeaness” and who will be next in line- that is the big issue and divides us into pro- skeptic or anti EU camps!

      Also- many African/Asian countries have a very high growth rate (from a low base) as well. None of it is a correct measure. After all- only astute interpretations of many factors & sound judgments delivers a reasonable answer!

  42. Joel Dominic Rodrigues

    Hmm, seems like a lot of Europeans miss the point that it is Russia that feels threatened by the free, democratic, open, borderless society that is the European Union (well that’s what the aim is — it’s not perfect). People also miss the point of what the ideals of the EU are & are oblivious to all that has been achieved as it has included more member countries. It was not meant to be a Rich-White-Western-European club. And, let’s not even get started on the racism, xenophobia & discrimination. “Euro-scepticism” is fuelled more by ignorance & an unrealistic world-view than anything else.

    • pio

      Did you hear about roma discrimination ?
      They are discriminated in Romania and want to live in your country
      you must respect their ethnical tradition
      They don’t like to go to school or to work
      you must give them a social assistance and to not arrest them if you catch them stealing or begging (that are also ethnic traditions) If you arrest them, that prove you are an racist bastard without respect for minority and them culture
      Is in them tradition also to make many babies and to not take shower

    • Marcel

      Free, democratic, open and borderless. Are you for real?

      First of all, the EU is by its very design undemocratic. The ‘ideals’ of the EU, as defined by Monnet at the time (read his biography and read between the lines) were simply this: to abolish national democracy.

      We oppose the EU because we are for democracy. I take it you support the EU because you oppose democracy?

    • crayven

      @Marcel: actually he is right.
      Russia is a HELL HOLE compared to even the WORST parts of the EU.
      I suggest you take a trip there to see for yourself rather than spew nonsense from behind your monitor without having stepped out of your even small town!

    • DIMITRI

      Russia, largest country in the world, with the largest nuclear arsenal, they’re not afraid of invasion from NATO. The only thing that’s under threat is Russia’s ability to bully and invade the smaller nations on it’s periphery. People say that it’s not longer an ideological rivalry, Russia isn’t exporting communism anymore! The truth is they picked up a new ideology, tyranny! Now Putin is building a new union, a Eurasian Union, all dictators welcome!

    • catherine benning

      @ Peter Castermans:

      And they (Russia) are right to feel threatened look at what is already taking place against them. Financial warfare for daring to defend their back door. .

    • proactive

      @Dimitri, you are right, it isn’t communism anymore today. This “tyranny” is a similar trend which the West- US/EU pursues. Blocks “US/EU, Russia & China” are today all in competition within a “capitalistic free market system”, to secure resources & capture future markets to safeguard their own growth & prosperity! Competition between such blocks produces tensions & actions which are good & necessary, many are ugly and some very ugly! We citizen on both sides are all just sitting ducks.

      Present US/EU policy forces an awakening of Russia’s survival instinct to follow a similar trend as the US/EU’s through expansionism of their potential future markets for their own & their members benefit. In not acting that way, would be a neglect of their governing responsibility to its own population! It is this conflict which has to be managed honestly, fair & amicable by our politicians on both sides- without cheating!

    • crayven

      “dangerous EU expansionism” ?
      Why is the EU expansion “dangerous” to Russia? Do we bring in freedom and higher societal and living standards and they are afraid their own people will want in?
      Is that it?

      To all of you who praise Russia so much try LIVING there for a year see how ‘awesome’ it really is.
      Stop listening to RT propaganda.

  43. Marcel

    No, no and no.

    Next question.

    For those who say yes, I ask: who is going to pay for that? You? We in western Europe are out of money.

    • crayven

      That would be good, but sadly Putin wants his old cold war status instead of more cooperation. *sigh*

    • Marcel

      Crayven, your agenda seems to be abolishing national democracy everywhere and establishing this undemocratic federal EU lorded over by unelected politicians who don’t pay income tax?

      Plus handing masses of more cheap labor to western corporations, thus further shrinking the middle class and increasing the wealth gap.

      Are you a paid corporate stooge?

  44. Chris

    I think they should join the EU eventually and then preferably together. But only after they have had serious economic and poltical reforms and of course not only them but also the EU which is in need of reform before more countries should join. Both would be in the interest of the joining countries and the todays members. Also it shouldn’t go hand in hand with a NATO expansion since this would endanger relations between the EU and the Russian Federation (RF). It should be seen by the RF as an independent act of the EU and not as one instigated by the US or by other third parties and as an act not directed against the RF.I would like to see in the future an EU acting independent of the US or others and an EU acting only on behalf of the people living in the EU’s member states.

  45. Marcel

    I demand that Bolivia be considered as a candidate member state, as I’m sure some country from Europe trades with Bolivia in some way.

    And don’t forget Madagascar, the Philippines and Laos.

    Ukraine: no.
    Moldova: no.
    Georgia: no.
    Belarus: no.
    Turkey: no.

    Unless one of them wants our place, then they can get in so we can get out. Us, Britain and one or two others to leave, and those countries can get in and France and Germany can pay for it all. Just so long as we don’t have to.

  46. C.W.E.K

    Yes I believe they have a right to join should the citizens of the country vote to do so. Who the hell gives Russia the right to bully these states and dictate their policy. During the times they were under russian rule they were plundered and pilaged in every possible respect, treated like dirt and insulted. Putin even mentioned to the American president that he believed Ukraine wasnt even a proper country. Ukranians have the right to be respected. Membership of the EU would be a hard journey to start down for them but one that would bring rewards economic prosperity and a better life for them with laws in place to respect and protect minorities ie Hungarians in transilvania or Slovakia. Russia has been bellicose and has never respected any minorities but referred to them insultingly. When the Ukrainians join the EU as I believe and hope they will they will be treated like equal partners and have investment and financial gain as well as bringing benefits to the EU. I will them the very best of luck in their journey and believe that they will succeed GOOD LUCK. What we take for granted freedom prosperity the Schengen and our life style the people of Ukraine and Moldova and Georgia fight heroically for with bravery determination and great courage they should remind us everyday of the benefits of the EU and NATO

  47. Al.

    Separate to all the conflict and instability of these regions the EU can only accommodate a percentage of low performing countries which I believe is currently exceeded. So the EU shouldn’t consider further expansion of territory until several lower performing countries reach a high level of development which could take several decades.

  48. VIS

    Yes they have aright to join the EU as they are our European brothers and sisters and we will be safer and stronger together (“One race,
    Many cultures,One place.”) Russia has bullied Europe long enough they destroyed all these countries infrastructure when the USSR had puppet leaders in all these eastern European countries they were responsible for looking after them but only lined there own pockets and built 13,000 WMD which cost billions where they should have built schools, hospitals, houses and industry but instead built military bases which they still do very much in Russia again today. We should welcome in our European brothers and sisters such as Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus, Turkey and all the other countries in the that are eligible to join hell even Russia but they need to seriously change there attitude to the world

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