It is now 23 years since the Soviet Union disintegrated. But Russia still holds a firm grip on many of the former Union countries. These are the countries in Baltikum, East-Europe, Kaukasus and Central-Asia. Our journey of this article starts with the Baltikum states, which is part of EU and NATO.
In Estonia, Boris Jeltsin (former president of Russia) claimed Estonia as independent state very early. But there are other issues between the local people and the Russian part of its population. Then there is a debate about Russians and teaching Estonian language.
There are conflicts between native Latvian’s and Russians living in Latvia. There is discrimination and conflicts between them. Many of these cases have been put the trials in the European Court of Human Rights. As with Estland, Latvia also have started with nuclear power so that they can be even more independen.
Russia have threatened Lithuania about cutting gas transportation to other East-Europe countries, but Lithuania threatens back that they will isolate Kaliningrad-part of Russia.
Russia Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia and Belarus share “the same soul.” This says something about the importance of Belarus for Russia. The country has Russia as its main partner, and is also one of the founders of the Customs Union. The relationship is, however, not free of conflicts. Lately there have been tensions around the toll union. Belarus is also known for be the last dictator country in Europe, and is not liked by EU and human rights organizations.
Ukraine has said it will sign a so-called Association Agreement and a comprehensive trade agreement. These agreements can be step towards full membership of the EU. This led to a series of reactions from Russia, as they started to boycott of a popular Ukrainian chocolate brand. Russians have also introduced stricter customs controls at the border.
Transdnjestr in the eastern part of Moldova, which is very tight connected with Russia. Many of the population speaks Russian. Moldova government however wants to have a much better relationship with EU, which the prime minister of Russia Dmitrij Medvedev is not so happy about. Hes have threatened that if Moldova signs a free trade agreement with EU, then it might happen that energy agreements will be more expensive and that Transdnjestr will become part of Russia.
Russia have started to boycott wine from Moldova in September this year.
In the next article, we will inform you about the conflict between Russia and Kaukasus region.