What's at Stake for 6 Nations Currently at the Center of an EU-Russia Tug-of-war

A quarter century after the Iron Curtain that once divided Europe opened, the European Union nations and Russia are again involved in a tug-of-war, this time over six former Soviet Republics.
EU leaders are courting the six at a special summit in Riga that opened Thursday, offering better economic cooperation and promising financial aid and help for good government. Moscow, meanwhile, is doing what it can to keep the countries within its sphere of influence.
The same issues were at the heart of the 2013 Eastern Partnership held in Vilnius. The EU has since decided it needs a piecemeal approach to courting the six nations. Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova are considered closer to the fold, while Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus are at arm's length at best.