The media in the US devotes a lot of space to political struggles in the Mid East. We are informed less about political problems in Eastern Europe. The Ukraine is a large country with a population 46 million which finds itself in a pickle between Europe and Russia. It recently decided against signing a trade agreement with the EU. This article describes the decision in terms of the weapons available from the EU and those used by the Russian President V. Putin who opposed a Ukraine treaty with the EU.
President Putin implemented a trade boycott against the Ukraine in August and he has hinted that he might lower gas prices to the Ukraine. The EU did offer any carrots to the Ukraine and it did not use any sticks that might have influence the decision. The IMF also refused to provide 160 billion euro loan to the Ukraine. According to this article, the decision was determined by a motivated Russian president willing to coerce a negative decision and a EU that was not willing to offer any carrots to the Ukraine. It also suggests that the decision was very unpopular in the Ukraine. What this article does not discuss is that the Ukraine itself is a divided country. Some parts of the country are ethnically and politically aligned with Russia, and other parts of the country see a better future in an alliance with the EU.