Thursday, May 08, 2003
EU-CIS: A New Marketplace - 7th May 2003, 23.55

Vladimir Putin, whilst holding a summit with Leonid Kuchma, the controversial President of the Ukraine, called for a common marketplace between the Commonwealth of Independent States and the European Union. This warm up act is intended for the Russia- EU summit on the 31st May. Whilst some commentaters may infer a positive response following the recent actions of the 'coalition of the unwilling', Putin may find that his new allies are unable to accommodate his wishes. The CIS includes notable liberal outposts like Kazakhstan, the Ukraine and Belarus; states that the diplomatic clergymen of Scandinavia or the Netherlands would rather leave in their benighted hinterlands.

However, the vast reserves of oil and gas held by Russia ensure Europe's energy security for the first decades of the twenty-first century, a dependency that the Kremlin will no doubt wish to exploit.


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