Thursday, April 22, 2010

Drezner, Realpolitik and Russia's Near Abroad

Needless to say, I don't agree with this.

In a post yesterday, I pointed out that press freedom in Ukraine is already suffering under the presidency of Victor Yanukovych.  The fact that he had said during his campaign that he would dismantle democracy in Ukraine and move closer to Russia was, apparently, ignored.  He is keeping his promise.

The point is not whether US relations with Ukraine and the Kyrgyz Republic has been adversely affected by their move for closer ties to the Russian Federation. It is what Moscow will demand in return.  One of those demands will be a less free society along the model developed by Russia.  Realpolitik is all well and good, but when it hangs out to dry those who support a more open and free society, there is a serious problem. 

There is a reason why Eastern Europe and the Baltics are concerned about US foreign policy regarding Russia. So implying that the effect is not important reveals a little too much of the cynic.
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