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An Old Game With New Rules In Russia's Backyard

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

A former Soviet republic has its sights set on moving closer to Europe, a move staunchly opposed by Moscow.

With the Kremlin's tacit support, one of its majority ethnic-Russian cities votes to secede, sparking fears of violent conflict. Officials in Moscow vow to defend the rights of its smaller neighbor's Russian-speaking residents.

Ukraine or Moldova in 2013? Not quite. This scenario played out, peacefully in the end, in the Estonian city of Narva during the summer of 1993, less than two years after the Soviet Union dissolved. Today, the Russian-speaking residents of Narva -- EU passports in hand -- are far less restive.

The Kremlin's current drive to prevent Ukraine, Armenia, and Moldova from signing Association Agreements with the European Union has again focused attention on Moscow pressuring its neighbors into remaining Russia's sphere of influence.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

An Old Game With New Rules In Russia's Backyard

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