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Tag Archives: Ukraine

2013 Year in Review: The State of European Affairs

2013 Year in Review: The State of European Affairs

At the end of each year I tried to reflect on the most important events that took place in Europe (see my comments for 2011 and 2012). Aside from the political look down in DC, tensions in South-East Asia, instabilities in the Middle East and North Africa, among many other stories, seven stories caught my attention […]

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Leaders Wanted

Leaders Wanted

A Lack of Credible Opposition Candidates Has Stalled Democratic Progress Along the Black Sea Since late November, ever since Ukraine’s President, Victor Yanukovych, refused to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union, protestors have congregated in downtown Kiev, defying what they see as a blatant attempt to maintain a post-Soviet world order in a […]

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Talking Defense – Part 2 – Reflection on a needed European Security Strategy

Talking Defense – Part 2 – Reflection on a needed European Security Strategy

Where do European interests lay? What are Europeans’ priorities? How can Europeans influence and shape their environments? In a recent speech, HR Ashton declared that the CSDP faces several challenges; one being that “there is no agreed long-term vision on the future of CSDP.” These questions are fundamental in order to discuss the future of the […]

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Politicized Political Journalism

Politicized Political Journalism

Over the years, political journalism in Russia has gradually morphed into a new definition – one that blurs the line between politicized and honest journalism. Russian journalism blotched that line even more with Monday’s presidential decree to shut down the state-funded news agency, RIA Novosti, and merged it with a news outlet called Russia Today. […]

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Ukraine: Time for Bold Magnanimity from EU

Ukraine: Time for Bold Magnanimity from EU

  The European Union should provide Ukraine with the trade benefits it would have realized had Russian pressure not prompted the government of President Viktor Yanukovych to announce on November 21 that it would not sign a long-anticipated Association Agreement with the EU. That announcement set off not only pro-EU protests in the streets of […]

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Russia’s Bullying Pushes Ukraine Further West

Russia’s Bullying Pushes Ukraine Further West

The European Union (EU) is approaching a major milestone in its relations with Ukraine. Next month, the most valuable state in eastern Europe that remains a non-member will have the opportunity to expand its relations with the West by signing an Association Agreement with the EU. Once signed, the agreement will provide a new framework […]

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Security Policy in Eastern Europe: Challenges for the EU

Security Policy in Eastern Europe: Challenges for the EU

By Dominik P. Jankowski and Paweł Świeżak The recently popular thesis concerning the EU turning to the South is an oversimplification and needs to be treated with reserve. Nevertheless, the interests and the involvement of the EU have been moving towards the African continent at least since 2010. This is clearly visible especially in the […]

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A ‘Blurry’ Line: UN Peacekeeping in the Eastern DRC

A ‘Blurry’ Line: UN Peacekeeping in the Eastern DRC

United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) peacekeepers have been busy assisting the Congolese brigades over the past week in the fight against rebels known as M23 based in Bunagana. This comes at a crucial time, as the provincial capital of Goma, a military stronghold, may be overrun. This […]

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Soviet Offspring as Democratic Adolescents

Soviet Offspring as Democratic Adolescents

While U.S. voters grumble about Congressional deadlock and lack of presidential alternatives, we often forget how good we have it. A slow thaw from autocracy in former Soviet states since 1991 has uncovered various national specimens, from reformer to recidivist. Observers have watched with increasing pessimism as jailed and beaten opposition candidates, single-party access to […]

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Gazprom Admits to Reducing NatGas Flow to Europe

Gazprom Admits to Reducing NatGas Flow to Europe

The cold snap that has frozen most of Europe solid has created some tensions over Russia’s role as supplier of natural gas to its neighbors. On Friday, a Gazprom official claimed that Ukraine was taking more than its share from the pipeline that runs through its territory. For those who remember the unpleasantness between Moscow […]

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Putin Presses Button to Start Nord Stream NatGas Pipeline

Putin Presses Button to Start Nord Stream NatGas Pipeline

Vladimir Putin was at a ceremony a few days ago at which he pressed the button that began the process of delivering natural gas to Germany through the Nord Stream pipeline. According to Gazprom, Nord Stream is the first direct link between Russia and the European gas transmission system. It runs under the Baltic Sea, […]

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Chernobyl's Silver Anniversary – No End in Sight

It was 25 years ago today that the Number 4 reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic exploded. The first the world learned of it was the following day when radiation detectors in Sweden went berserk. The heroics of the “liquidators,” many of whom died from radiation sickness in […]

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The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

That, of course, is the title of James Baldwin’s famous two-essay collection.  Baldwin took it from the old spiritual, “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep.” “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!” Well, I don’t like to get all biblical, but I bet a lot of folks in Russia and […]

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Pipelines Are Political

Pipelines used to be just a way to get oil or gas from Point A to Point B — mostly political locally, especially for environmental reasons. Sometimes, they are locally strategic, the way they are in Nigeria — want to get the government’s or the company’s attention? Blow up a pipeline. Increasingly, they are geo-strategic, […]

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Friday's Links

1) Speculation in Pakistan is increasing over whether President Asif Ali Zardari will survive in office much longer. The constant threat of military coups is the elephant in the room, especially after Zardari attempted to place the ISI under civilian control. Moreover, Pakistani politics are riddled with ever-shifting alliances and corrupt political actors lacking any […]

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