President Putin’s schedule has been almost completely revamped given the events over the past days in Volgograd. While preparations for the Winter Olympics race forward in Sochi, the rest of the country is in a bit of a shock.
We’re not likely to hear much about the Customs Union, and especially inclusion of Ukraine, in the coming days until the government gets a handle on the violence coming from the Caucasus region of Russia where militants wish to create an Islamic super state under separatist rule by Muslim clerics as in Iran. The very nature of the Olympic games will divert focus from the Customs Union as well.
Even so, grassroots efforts to promote the expanded trade area, and wooing Ukraine to join, may slow for awhile but will certainly move back to centre stage once the Olympics have ended. Already we’re seeing efforts to bring the grassroots efforts along.
я за таможенный союз (I’m for the Customs Union) and русское единство (Russian unity) are themes which play well across the heartland of Russia.
We’ll have to wait and see how well the theme plays in Ukraine.