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 Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?

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PostSubject: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Sun May 11, 2008 8:27 am

Not being au fait with the dynamics of the EU, apart from following the "debate" on Lisbon and a very general knowledge base, I'm just wondering if the idea has ever been seriously contemplated in the past. More specifically given the expansionist plans of the EU and the high concentration of natural resources within Russia (espcially all the lovely oil and gas) wouldn't Russia's entry into the EU be a nice fit? I know there are several posters here who are quite clued-up on the EU. Do the big players within the EU fear Russian involvement or are the Russians themselves not keen on the idea? It would be interesting to hear what the Europhiles think.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Sun May 11, 2008 2:00 pm

I don't think Russia is likely to join any time soon.

The next members will probably be the Balkan states (Croatia, Bosnia etc.) followed by Ukraine, Moldova and possibly Turkey.

There would be huges issues with
- democracy
- Russia's borders with other countries (Georgia, etc.)

Also, it would mean the end to any pretence of being a superpower for Russia. I can only see it happening if there is (as expected) a significant decline in the Russian population.

I think that Russia (like the UK and possibly Turkey) will always see a role for itself outside the EU, whereas for France and Germany the EU is far more important than anything else - which is why France and Germany will always be the most influential countries in the EU.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Sun May 11, 2008 11:22 pm

Here are the Copenhagen Criteria which a country must fulfil in order to accede:

"Membership requires that candidate country has achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and, protection of minorities, the existence of a functioning market economy as well as the capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union. Membership presupposes the candidate's ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union."

I think Russia falls at the first sentence in that regard. Russia should be kept out, weak and at our mercy.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 12:03 am

I am alarmed at what I have seen over the last few months and I am not easily alarmed. We have seen a resumption of bomber runs off the British Isles and the Atlantic coast here. We have seen bellicose talk which on it's own might not warrent much importance. I see that the breakaway statelet has shot down some Georgian drones. However last Friday the first military parade was held through Red Square for the first time since the cold war. It featured the topal icbm missile. They kept producing these at 3 per month while the stupid US disarmed. Clinton changed the nuclear policy from launch on warning to accepting a first strike before retalitating. Bush the donkey kept this policy. The West is screwed and it was deliberate
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 12:22 am

Things have been very jumpy, with Russia complaining today about US planes flying dangerously close to their bombers and I think there have been complaints the other way around. The anti-ballistic missile thread looks at some of this too.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 12:25 am

Pride, more than anything else.  

Russia as a nation thrives in being along, different, better than everybody else. It's not a bad thing as such. But they are such a proud nation they would never risk that on something like the EU. At least not now.

It would take a very strong leader (who would, i fear, need to be bulletproof) to get Russia to join the EU.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 1:38 am

Why would Russia want to join the EU. Russia is likely to dominate if not subjugate the EU.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 1:46 am

I think any country thinking of invading Russia would do well to think again. The historical experience has not been good.

But with the exception of trying to keep a 'buffer' around its border Russia has shown no signs of wanting to invade anywhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 1:48 am

Russia isn't all it's cracked up to be. The gulf between the very rich and the very poor is still too wide. Their middle class, while growing, isn't growing fast enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 2:25 am

I think Russia is simply too big and two powerful. If it was to join the EU it would inevitably completely dominate it and naturally the other EU states don't want that.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 2:31 am

Nobody is thinking of invading Russia because it is dominant militarily. The West is needling Russia for whatever reason nobody knows for sure but it is happening.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 2:40 am

Is there an irreconcilable cultural difference between the Russians and the Europeans?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Isn't Russia a Member of the EU?   Mon May 12, 2008 2:48 am

Looking at the pictures of the troops in Red Square I would think that there is no difference. They appear as brainless as our soldiers. They will go and kill whereever they are told.
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