It's the Economy: The Roots of the Crisis in Ukraine

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Pro-Kremlin activists rally in support of ethnic Russians in Ukraine's Crimea in St. Petersburg, March 2, 2014. The poster reads: 'We are with you Crimea!'

As the political crisis escalates in Ukraine, it's worth remembering that it was a debate over trade that was a major source of the uprising that led to recent turmoil: Should the country develop closer economic ties with Europe and the West or with Russia, its neighbor to the East? Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych brought on the ire of many of his countrymen when he chose to ally himself with Russian President Vladimir Putin instead of with Europe. In the ensuing protests, he was forced to flee to — where else — Russia. This week on Money Talking, regular contributors Joe Nocera of the New York Times and Rana Foroohar of Time magazine examine the economic backdrop of what's now a political crisis in Ukraine and what it means for the world economy.