FILLING THE POST-SOVIET VACUUM
Russia's post-Soviet orientation toward Europe and the West is in serious trouble. Western leaders' decision to expand NATO eastward without taking Moscow's objections into account has sidelined Russia on matters that affect its strategic interests. Fellow former Soviet republics seeking Western investment and sponsorship have spoken out against Russia in international forums; within the country, some groups even feel they must leave the Russian Federation to gain Western favor. Since nobody wants powerful neighbors, even when they are not hostile, the Western powers have been the natural allies of all who would break with Moscow. The West does not want to see any structure in Eurasia that permits Russian hegemony.
But abetting the continuing destabilization of Eurasia is not in the West's interests. NATO enlargement has not consolidated anti-Western forces in the region, as some Western experts had feared, but it has encouraged the division of
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