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Dec 3, 2013

Protests show Putin the battle for Ukraine is not over

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Protests by hundreds of thousands of people in Ukraine against their leaders’ U-turn over Europe have sent a warning to Vladimir Putin that the battle over the former Soviet republic’s future is far from over.

For once, matters may be largely out of the Russian leader’s hands: he appears to have little left in his political armory to woo Ukraine, especially if the protesters oust President Viktor Yanukovich or persuade him to change tack again.

Nov 29, 2013

Ukraine holds key to Putin’s dream of a new union

MOSCOW, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s refusal to sign a trade
pact drawing it into Europe’s orbit marked a victory for
Vladimir Putin, winning him time to lure Kiev into a project for
a trade and political bloc stretching from the frontiers of
China to the edge of the EU.

The Russian president sees his “Eurasian Union”, in which
Ukraine would play a central role, as a future rival to China,
the United States and the European Union. Some say he sees it as
the president’s personal political legacy – a strong force
emerging from the ashes of the old Soviet Union.

Nov 22, 2013

Russia steals “Ukrainian bride” at the altar

MOSCOW/KIEV, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s abrupt decision to
return to Mother Russia’s bear hug after a flirtation with
western Europe can be traced back to a secretive meeting of
their two presidents two weeks ago.

The country of 46 million, squeezed between the European
Union and Russia, on Thursday froze plans to sign a trade pact
with the EU which would have marked a historic shift away from
its former Soviet masters in Moscow.

Nov 1, 2013

Russian PM plays down ‘gas war’ talk, warns Ukraine on EU

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he saw no reason for Moscow to cut gas supplies to Ukraine over an unpaid bill for now, playing down talk of an imminent “gas war” that might disrupt flows to Europe.

In an interview with Reuters, he denied Russia’s demands for payment had anything to do with opposition to Ukraine signing agreements with the European Union this month which would mark a historic shift away from former imperial master Moscow.

Nov 1, 2013

Russian PM wants cheaper credit to stimulate economy

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia must boost the flow of credit to businesses to promote an investment-led recovery but will not throw fiscal caution to the wind to overcome the drag on the economy from weak exports, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

In an interview with Reuters, the former president said he saw no contradiction between fiscal consolidation and economic development, and said the government would press on with privatization at the right price.

Nov 1, 2013

Russian PM sees Syria peace talks by end of year

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia hopes an international peace conference on Syria will be held before the end of this year, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, despite reported differences with the United States over opposition representation.

He appealed to both sides in Syria’s civil war to compromise and criticized the opposition for demanding assurances of President Bashar al-Assad’s departure as a condition for the talks.

Nov 1, 2013

Russian PM guarantees security at Sochi Olympics

MOSCOW, Nov 1 (Reuters) – The Russian government and security services will overcome security threats and can guarantee safety at the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

In an interview with Reuters, Medvedev said Russia had taken a number of safety measures around the city, which borders the volatile North Caucasus region where Islamist insurgents wage nearly daily violence.

Nov 1, 2013

Russian PM plays down talk of gas wars, warns Ukraine on EU

MOSCOW, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry
Medvedev said he saw no reason for Moscow to cut gas supplies to
Ukraine over an unpaid bill for now, playing down talk of an
imminent “gas war” that might disrupt gas flows to Europe.

In an interview with Reuters, he denied Russia’s demands for
payment had anything to do with opposition to Ukraine signing
agreements with the European Union this month which would mark a
historic shift away from former imperial master Moscow.

Oct 28, 2013

Risking Russia’s ire, Georgia seeks closer ties with Europe

TBILISI (Reuters) – Georgia’s new president said on Monday he would press ahead with efforts to deepen the former Soviet republic’s ties with the West despite Russian concerns.

European leaders and observers hailed Sunday’s “clean” election won by Georgy Margvelashvili, an ally of billionaire Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, as a sign that democracy is maturing in the small South Caucasus state.

Oct 27, 2013

Incoming Georgian president is no ‘superman’

TBILISI (Reuters) – Georgia’s next president, Georgy Margvelashvili, fits in perfectly with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s vision of a nation free of politicians who want to be “superman”.

Margvelashvili, a little-known confidant of the billionaire premier, won a landslide victory in the former Soviet republic’s presidential election on Sunday after only a year in politics.

    • About Timothy

      "Timothy Heritage is Brussels Bureau Chief and European Affairs Editor, responsible for coverage of the European Union. He has previously been based in Moscow, Jerusalem, Paris, London, Warsaw and Belgrade, covering events ranging from the fall of Communism and conflict in the Balkans and Middle East to the euro zone debt crisis."
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