The Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, and the first post-communist countries joined the European Union 10 years ago. The double anniversary should prompt fireworks and banquets, especially considering that most countries in the former communist bloc are growing faster than their more developed neighbors.

However, few people are in the mood to celebrate given that the Ukraine crisis is dragging the region down.

After all these years, the countries formerly under Moscow's sway are still painfully connected to Russia and to one another. A set of gloomy forecasts released the last week by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) demonstrates how.