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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | Thursday, January 15, 2009

Russia wants to weaken Ukraine

According to the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Russia is using the gas conflict to weaken Ukraine because it refuses to accept Ukraine's sovereignty: "Russian diplomats have repeatedly, even publicly, toyed with the option of bringing about the internal destabilisation or even the division of Ukraine, which Moscow sees as an 'artificial' state. An east Slavic orthodox nation, a sister nation whose poets (Gogol, for example) the Russians see as their own, and which despite their joint history has rejected the authoritarian Russian model of democracy and opted for openness; a former key province of the empire wanting to join the EU and Nato - this is unacceptable for Russians like [Russian prime minister Vladimir] Putin, who once described the collapse of the Soviet Union as a 'catastrophe'. He has already proven in Georgia that he knows how to make the best of an opportunity. Now he has Ukraine by the throat."

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