Vladimir Putin has been consolidating power in his area of influence as of late. It is a large power play using trade as an autonomous lever. The Ruble will be in direct competition with the Euro (which may be weakened or destroyed). It will be interesting to see how many countries jump ship from the sinking Euro being in the reality of collapsing states.
The US has appointed a new Ambassador, Michael McFaul during these developments.
We saw this coming and after talking to Russians, saw their need to gain some prominence back in their region, and without stringent dissuasion from the United States, there is really nothing to stop them. I can see the logic behind it.
Update: Looks like this pissed him off.
From Jamestown: “but it is certain to be deeply corrupt.“