Europe's Economic Iron Curtain

Instead of looking at central and Eastern Europe as part of the EU, it is sometimes useful to view it as part of the vast region Russia once ruled, the way it is seen by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Istanbul might not be immune to the troubles in Ukraine. Photographer: Kerim Okten/Bloomberg

The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, and the first post-communist countries joined the European Union 10 years ago. The double anniversary should prompt fireworks and banquets, especially considering that most countries in the former communist bloc are growing faster than their more developed neighbors. However, few people are in the mood to celebrate given that the Ukraine crisis is dragging the region down.

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