Against this background, the attempts of countries such as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia to integrate deeper into the EU are likely to fail, which will result in these countries having to reconsider their relations with Russia, Apostrophe wrote citing Stratfor.
For example, in the recent presidential elections in the Republic of Moldova, a pro-Russian candidate Igor Dodon was elected, who had pledged to improve Moscow ties.
Although Ukraine and Georgia are unlikely to follow suit, their policy toward Russia in 2017 could become more pragmatic. It will lead to strengthening trade relations with Russia, which could affect the status of the territories seized from Ukraine and Georgia.
Moscow will probably also want to gain influence in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan - countries that have maintained their neutrality toward Russia after the Soviet collapse. Moscow has recently signed an agreement to expand military cooperation with both of these countries. The growing discord within the European Union will force Belarus and Armenia to abandon attempts to expand bilateral relations with the Bloc. Consequently, the value of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Organization of the Collective Security Treaty Organization – organizations where Russia plays the dominant role – will increase in the coming year.
Read alsoTrump to be offered compromise with Russia on Crimea – BildYet Russia's return to the big league is not guaranteed. The United States and NATO are unlikely to allow Moscow to have free reign over Eurasia. In addition, various political forces in the United States and the EU will challenge the removal or easing of sanctions against Moscow.
Read alsoChubarov: Four former Soviet states almost ready to recognize Crimea Russian territoryAt the same time, faced with the prospects of reduced support from the West, Ukraine and Georgia may try to team up with their neighbors, such as Poland and Turkey, in order to resist the Kremlin. But Moscow is also sure to be careful not to be overly aggressive against the peripheral countries.