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This makes me conclude that Russia is just too big. If you break it down into Russia I and Russia II then it becomes a near certainty that the EU will take in both

In this case you'd probably talk about Russia I to X at least, with North Caucasus, Tatarstan, Bashkotorstan (mostly Muslim), Yakutia (partly Yakut), Khanty-Mansi Region (almost no population but huge oil resources, I bet EU would love to have them in), and, last but not least, the Central Russian Orthodox Republic, after accepting which the EU will truly learn what does it mean to have to heavily Christian countries (another is Poland) on different sides of the religious divide...
     Frankly, you don't want THIS experience which will generate endless possibilities for discussing racial and religious reasons to not admit one of these pieces... besides, citizen of today's Russia (Alpha and Omega) would start hating the EU the first time this idea gets aired, and the whole exercise would be moot.

by Sargon on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 01:29:55 PM EST
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Central Russian Orthodox Republic, after accepting which the EU will truly learn what does it mean to have to heavily Christian countries (another is Poland) on different sides of the religious divide...

Explain?

The idea is a bit mad anyway - Russia doesn't want to join.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 01:33:11 PM EST
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In any case, it wouldn't be an admission to the EU, it would be a merging of the EU and Russia. The scales are too similar.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 01:35:09 PM EST
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A dangerous trend in the Russian nationalism is actually content with encouraging other ethnic separatisms around, so that "Russians proper" - russkie - bang together and develop of feeling of national (or, rather, ethnic) self-identification. If forced to choose between the current country and some hypothetical "ethnic" thing with much smaller territory, I'm afraid they'd choose the latter. These guys are also heavily Orthodox and interpret the religion in a very old-fashioned way. In particular, Catholicism is evil for them (as Orthodoxy is for some die-hard Catholics).

     There are some political forces in Russia (such as Yabloko) which are all for accepting European values and even becoming EU members, when the time comes. However, everyone understands quite clearly that an invitation is not forthcoming (just look at Ukraine!) So in some sense, "we don't want to be in the EU" sounds like "sour grapes" to me.

     But then, of course, there's a joke that it's not about Russia entering the EU, but EU joining Russia :-)

by Sargon on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 01:53:37 PM EST
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  But then, of course, there's a joke that it's not about Russia entering the EU, but EU joining Russia :-)

It would really be a merger, not an acquisition. I'm not sure it would be a good idea: the resulting power bloc would be terribly powerful.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 02:03:09 PM EST
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I think Russia is too large to be anything other than the center of its own geopolitical pole.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 06:13:17 PM EST
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