July 20, 2014

On MH17, It's Old Europe Versus New Europe

Matthew Yglesias, Vox

The Associated Press

Key to understanding the "European" stance on Russia is that Europe's countries are themselves divided. Broadly speaking, the big western European nations — the UK, France, and especially Germany and Italy — have commercial relationships with Russia and prefer not to rock the boat. But the nations of central and eastern Europe that used to live under Soviet domination tend to favor a hard line, and especially like the idea of anything that keeps the United States militarily engaged in eastern Europe. There is also the somewhat special case of Finland, which actually borders Russia and is not a NATO member, and has a decades-long policy of simultaneously preparing to defend itself from Russia and desperately trying to avoid antagonizing Moscow.

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TAGGED: Poland, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Europe, MH17

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