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Is this sentence correct?

"Post-Soviet Russia has long hesitated before definitively recognizing the frontiers with its new neighbors"

The recognition comes after the hesitation; therefore, the time period for the latter is finished. Plus Russia has NOT been hesitating for some time now.

Isn't it better to say:

"Post-Soviet Russia had long hesitated before definitively recognizing the frontiers with its new neighbors"?

OR

"Post-Soviet Russia hesitated for a long time before definitively recognizing the frontiers with its new neighbors"

  • 'Russia has NOT been hesitating for some time now.' But had it when the statement was originally made? Your second suggestion is correct if made long after the period of hesitation ended. As fdb implies, it is in a rather scholarly register. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 11 '14 at 19:16
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    It has nothing to do with the English, but I feel bound to say that I am far from convinced that Russia has, even now, definitively recognised its frontiers. Moreover I am not sure you should use the term 'new neighbours'. There is nothing 'new' about them, they have always been there. More important still I find the statement unwieldy. My inclination would be to say 'Post-Soviet Russia remains hesitant to accept its new frontiers'. If you wish to debate with me why I think Russia is acting less unreasonably than the British government thinks it is, please do so in 'chat'. – WS2 Mar 11 '14 at 19:45
  • English Language & Usage Chat {Russia forum} – WS2 Mar 11 '14 at 19:55
  • The sentence isn't mine, and I take no responsibility for its content. I only felt that what I was reading was sort of um... vague? imprecise? since the only way the sentence is IMHO correct is if it's being said right after the recognition. – jules Mar 11 '14 at 20:59
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Only the third of your suggestions is idiomatic English.

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