EU and NATO
March 10, 2007 3:37am CST
With former communist countries being taken into the EU, does anyone think that it is likely that Russia will eventually join the EU and NATO to form a European super state?
• United States
13 Mar 07
I don't think Russia will ever join the EU. They arn't really a European country, they are central asian, and their history reflects this. They have also historically seen themselves as competitors to Europe. I think they would view joining the EU as a humiliation and surrender. I also have doubts about Ukraine joining. Russia proper was founded about 1000 years ago in Kiev, which is currently in Ukraine. Because of this historical link, I think Russia will do everything they can to keep Ukraine out of the EU and most Ukrainians probably agree with this (contrary to what you read in the press). The three communist countries that joined the EU - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - by contrast were clearly European countries. If you look at their histories, they've spent more time as part of the various Swedish, Polish and Prussian empires over the centuries, than under Russia. Their joining the EU therefore made sense. However, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and other former soviet republics to the south are central-asian in character. They will coalesce into a separate Russian led trade-zone organised along the lines of the EU. The Central Asian Union, if you like.
13 Mar 07
Thanks for adding some interesting comments to the discussion. Russia certainly has a strong Asian character, but that is due to the conquest of the country by the Mongols who destroyed most of the cities, including Kiev. But the Russians that I have spoken with certainly regard themselves as European and not in any sense Asian.