To understand current events in Ukraine-Russia relations, one has to consider that there is a bill in the Russian Duma – offered by MP Konstantin Zatulin [pictured] – that would effectively legalize – at least from the Russian viewpoint – not just meddling but almost complete control of Ukraine.

 

Vladimir Putin has now served longer as head of the Kremlin power structure than anyone else, even outlasting the Brezhnev regime – that seemed much longer than it really was. However, Putin and Co. is busy trying to find some way to make it appear that things are happening – while avoiding any real changes.

 

 

“…if the history of the Soviet Union was a Shakespearean tragedy of world importance, then the history of the Putin empire is a vulgar and disgusting provincial farce,” Piontkovsky says.

 

The Canadian Parliament has apparently hit one of the Kremlin’s most sensitive nerves with Bill S-226 that – if passed into law – would sharply focus new and larger spotlights on the outright corruption of many in the Putin claque. 

“Breitbart today is a clear denial of the thesis about American conservatism and Trumpism being potentially friendly to Russia. Yes, there are some individual positively inclined toward Moscow like [Patrick] Buchanan, but there are [today] no conservative groups” that follow his approach.

 

Are Western countries demanding too high a price for Ukraine’s move westward. The answer appears to be a resounding: Yes!

 

Photo credit: Christopher Bobyn

 

As strategic European integration gradually replaces the post-Maidan crisis, we recommend that Ukraine apply for membership of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) as the next stepping stone toward EU accession.

 

Photo: Visegrad states founded Cefta in 1992 (Photo Marco Fieber)

Bluebay analyst Tim Ash sees problems ahead between IMF and Ukraine as the government appears set to refuse to increase natural gas prices in line with IMF demands.

“One is fully justified in concluding that as the Russian expression has it, “the refrigerator is beginning to defeat the television,” with what people see in their own lives being more important to their views than what they are told they should think by state television.”

 

“Elements of a new revolutionary situation are rapidly being formed” in the wake of Crimea and Syria,” the St. Antony’s scholar says.  “Those on top cannot live in the old way, as the Ulyukayev case has shown to all.  In principle, [Igor] Sechin shot in the right direction but he didn’t hit his goal.”

 

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