Europe’s captive peoples

Ukrainians and others among Europe’s eastern neighbours are captives of their own rulers

I was always sceptical about the European Union’s Eastern Partnership. It reeked of lazy Western pigeonholing. The six countries it covered are hugely different. Ukraine is more important than the others combined. Azerbaijan’s owner-rulers are so rich they can do what they like. Belarus is an autocracy – and like Armenia so dependent on Russia for security that room for manoeuvre is limited. (It might make sense to have a joint policy for small, cash-strapped and vulnerable Moldova and Georgia, based on promoting territorial integrity, energy independence and the rule-of-law. But it would hardly be a grand design.)

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