It must be difficult for Ukraine or any other countries of Eastern Europe to summon must trust or optimism in the European Union after so many years of neglect. In many respects, citizens in these countries legitimately feel as though Paris, Berlin, and London have abandoned them, conceding them back into Russia’s self-appointed sphere of influence. Nevertheless, we have this “Eastern Partnership” project, which, like John Kerry’s suggestion the other day in the Washington Post for Georgia, proposes to make up for their reluctance to support sovereignty with straight cash:
The European Union sought on Thursday to intensify political and economic ties with six former Soviet republics, while seeking to reassure Russia that it was not trying to assert itself in Moscow’s former sphere of influence.
Under the so-called Eastern Partnership program — unveiled at a summit meeting here — the E.U. has pledged $799 million in aid from 2009 to 2013, while promising to accelerate energy projects in the region, encourage democracy and eventually ease E.U. visa restrictions.
But the program — aimed at Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova — was greeted with suspicion by Moscow.