Children chat underneath a giant Ukrainian flag in the centre of the Western Ukrainian town of Lviv, June 30, 2011.
Marian Striltsiv / Courtesy Reuters

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood before the Bundestag on November 18, she warned that the shadows of the Cold War are still with us. Nowhere are they darker, she continued, than over those countries situated between the European Union and Russia. Cold War or not, Moscow’s pressure on them would be unrelenting. So, she concluded, Germany and the European Union would have to wage a campaign of their own -- “lived solidarity,” she called it -- to help the countries pick their partners wisely.

This was a clear signal that the EU, although seemingly fragile within its own borders, still has ambitions to extend its model abroad. At its upcoming Eastern Partnership summit, which will take place November 28–29 in Vilnius, Lithuania, the EU hopes to conclude an Association Agreement with Ukraine, which would boost economic, political, and social ties between them. Whether or not the EU’s gambit succeeds (

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  • JONAS GRÄTZ is researcher with the Global Security Team at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich.
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