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Ukraine’s Sticky Pendulum

Some interesting musings on just how far gone Ukraine finds itself under Russia’s proclaimed sphere of influence published in the Financial Times:

“People expected the pendulum to swing, but not so sharply,” says Andrew Wilson, a Ukraine expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, a London-based think-tank. The leadership may think that “they can get more money more quickly from Russia” to cope with its economic hardships, but the “pendulum can get stuck if it goes too far”. (…)

Taras Kuzio, a University of Toronto senior research fellow who has served as a political consultant in Ukraine, says: “The Ukrainians want to be on 50-50 terms with the Russians, while keeping the door open to Europe. The problem in moving east, particularly so fast, is that Russia has an incredible appetite.

“It starts asking for more, more and more. We see this now. It’s a sign that the Ukrainian leadership has overplayed its cards, and is thus applying the brakes.