Nils Udgaard at PostGlobal

Nils Udgaard

Oslo, Norway

Nils Udgaard is the foreign editor of Norway's daily newspaper Aftenposten. Close.

Nils Udgaard

Oslo, Norway

Nils Udgaard is the foreign editor of Norway's daily newspaper Aftenposten. more »

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Regaining Ukrainian & Georgian Trust

Russia is behaving today as you would expect from a very ”normal” country, playing those cards she has and protecting her national interests as she sees them. “The West” always wanted Russia to become “normal.” Russia feels that “the West” – and that is still primarily the U.S. – is forcefully pushing its positions to the east, preparing to potentially include the Ukraine in NATO, maybe even in the EU, and embracing Georgia as well. The Ukraine is the oldest nation-state of importance among the Slavic peoples, with a key role in Russian history and identity.

The real issue is whether Russia will respect the democratic will in Ukraine and Georgia if it demands a break with present day Russia, or whether Moscow is able to appeal to those two countries and cooperate in a way that Ukrainian and Georgian voters see as beneficial to themselves and their countries. Unfortunately for Moscow, it is not in the Russian tradition to act in ways that attract understanding and sympathy from their neighbors. Trust has to be rebuilt – over a long time.

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