Friday, January 12, 2007

End of the CIS?

Analysts have commented that the Belarus-Russian tiff spells the end of the post-USSR Commonwealth of Independent States. The energy conflict has effectively doomed the CIS. Over the last ten years, Russia supplied CIS member states with inexpensive energy in the hopes of eventually wooing them into reintegrating with Russia. Now that the Putin administration has concluded that even its closest former ally, Belarus, is uninterested in reunification, it has moved from treating the states as coddled former satrapies to capitalist countries capable of paying prevailing market rates, despite the damage inflicted on their struggling economies.

What isn't being said here is that Russia is also stating that things will get 'back to normal' if the assorted xUSSR states will give in to numerous other demands: like selling their ifnrastructre to Russian companies (frex, Armenia or Georgia). It will be interesting to watch.

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