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In OTL Mikhail Gorbachev failed to win the 1996 presidential election in the Russian Federation and his dreams of a common European home (Including Russia) were never made reality. In this TL however Gorbachev wins the 1996 election and is able to stabilise the ailing Russian economy with aid from the EU and by converting it to market socialism. Thus the way is set for greater Russian integration into Europe leading to it joining the EU alongside the other European remnants of the USSR. Russia's influence on the EU would soon be felt as it was transformed into a lose Political, Economic and Military alliance. This angered the USA leading to the dissolution of NATO in July 2000. A new cold war had begun.