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At independence in 1991, Russia was well positioned given its geography spanning two continents, its natural resources and its well-educated workforce.

However, a bungled economic reform effort in the 1990s, combined with catastrophic drops in GDP, largely discredited free market principles.

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Great strides have been made in health and education, bringing more Afghans back into economic and civic life.Institutions that can accountably respond to people’s needs and aspirations are being restored.As one observer noted about the economic “shock therapy” of the 1990s, “It’s all shock and no therapy.” Market economics, freedom of the press and freedom of speech became code words for Western depravity, against which Mother Russia would protect its citizens.This lack of political and economic development spawned the rise of Putinism, permeating all levels of society.We hand select our flowers daily and carry a large assortment of fresh orchids and tropicals along with seasonal picks.

For special requests, call the day before and we'll order what you want.We are working with the Afghan people to lay the foundation that enables a successful transition from a donor-supported economy to one driven by Afghan growth and ingenuity.After a decade-plus focus on counterterrorism and the Middle East, U. and European policymakers have begun to pivot attention back to Russia and Eurasia, where the rise of Russian autocratic nationalism and Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine have caused jitters from the Baltics to Central Asia.Its proximity to European markets, developed rail system and ports, agricultural bounty, and educated workforce made Ukraine a smart bet.However, a combination of weak state institutions and a corrupt political elite led to a semi-functioning state at best. and European support, Ukraine has made major strides, achieving improved corporate governance, reduced dependence on Russian gas, accession to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement, a public declaration of assets of government officials and the establishment of a new police force.In their protest, Ukrainians stood not for a free trade area per se, but for a European future with political pluralism, jobs and opportunity.