January 28th, 2014
05:44 PM ET

What I'm reading: Should Russophones back Ukraine protests?

By Fareed Zakaria

“There is no reason why Ukraine's Russophone inhabitants should not support the protests. Euromaidan protesters want their country to join the European Union, and the EU has many qualities that should make it attractive to the Russophones: It protects regional languages and minorities, its welfare standards are more socialist than those in contemporary Ukraine, and it already includes a chunk of the former USSR. That’s on top of the obvious benefits, like political freedom and the rule of law,” writes Leonid Ragozin in The New Republic.

"Russophones might naturally lean to Russia, but they are not amused by its oil-addicted economy, terrorism, uncontrolled immigration, or its dim political future. Considering Ukraine's European prospects, it is a better place for Russophones, and indeed Russians, to call home."

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“What sets [recent] Chinese acquisitions apart from most other foreign purchases is that Chinese entities are state-owned – and so driven by national interests as well as economic. Chinese investments in the United States doubled in 2013, according to a recent report on Chinese foreign direct investment trends by the Rhodium Group,” argues Shihoko Goto for Reuters.

“If 2013 marks the first year of a wave of Chinese acquisition of U.S. assets, it may also mark the beginning of Chinese authorities’ strategic maneuvering for U.S. interests.”

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“The exact reasons for Karzai’s erratic behavior remain unknown. Perhaps he hopes to ingratiate himself with the Taliban as U.S. and Western influence wanes. Maybe he is holding out on signing the BSA and criticizing the U.S. as part of an effort to extract the best possible deal for himself, Afghanistan, or both,” writes Bill Roggio on the Daily Beast. “Regardless of his motivations, Karzai is playing a dangerous game.”

“If Karzai thinks his drift towards the Taliban will buy him forgiveness, he is sorely mistaken. If the U.S. does exercise the ‘zero option,’ the full withdrawal of forces by the end of 2014, or leaves a token force unable to turn the tide against what many believe will be a resurgent Taliban capable of regaining control of large areas of Afghanistan, his most recent attempts to further negotiations with the Taliban won't save him.”


soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Patrick

    Fareed Zakaria is definitely wrong on this one. The Russophones should never throw in with these protesters any more than the average Ukrainian. There is an old Irish proverb saying, if you shake hands with the devil, you may not get it back. In this case, the devil is the EU who want to absorb as much of Eastern Europe as possible.

    January 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    Hamid Karzai would not remain in Afghanistan, should he realise that the Taliban might soon take over. He has no doubt ill-gotten gains stashed away in Dubai or elsewhere. It's highly unlikely that he would come to the US.

    January 30, 2014 at 8:08 am | Reply
    • Joseph McCarthy

      What does this have to do with Ukraine, j. von hettlingen? However, I agree with you about Afghanistan. We never had any right whatsoever to be there in the first place. Moreover, I agree with Patrick above regarding Ukraine.

      January 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Reply
      • Jeff Roem

        I just agreed with myself, as I am both Patrick and Joseph McCarthy. Notice the matching icons.

        January 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm |
      • Jeff Roem

        And Karzi is mentioned in the article, which I neglected to read until just now. Sorry, j von.

        January 30, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
  3. UK:OK

    Get real, the EU is collapsing it's bankrupt and it's a Volkswagen dictatorship. Don't back the loosing horse!

    March 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Reply

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