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,

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