April 2013

Denmark's Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal: True watermark of a democracy is the protection of minorities and their rights

All citizens must be able to exercise their right to expression and assembly. Including, for instance, sexual minorities. If this right, one of the cornerstones of a democracy, is threatened, it is the state's duty to defend it, says Denmark's Minister of Foreign Affairs Villy Søvndal. The minister, who came to Vilnius on Friday, wished Lithuania to achieve tangible results during its presidency over the Council of the European Union, something to benefit Europe's citizens and businesses.

Sweden: a special NATO partner?

Among the policy agendas advanced during his tenure as NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been a robust advocate for the creation of new and enhanced partnerships for the Alliance. Many states have cultivated closer ties to NATO during his leadership, including Australia, Ireland, South Korea, New Zealand and Mongolia. But Sweden certainly ranks near the top among those whose bonds have been strengthened and improved.

Boston Bombing May Boost US-Russia Cooperation - Experts

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By Carl Schreck

More than a decade after Russia offered staunch support to the United States following the 9/11 terror attacks, bilateral relations could receive another boost as US authorities investigate two brothers with ties to Russia’s turbulent North Caucasus region in connection with last week’s deadly Boston Marathon bombing, analysts and security experts said.

Post-Soviet underworld rushes to Europe

By Ian Begg

Has anyone counted how many criminals in Europe received immunity just because they share the values ​​of democracy? But it is time to compile such a list. It will be fun and will get a high ranking in the media. Lucky crooks, murderers, thievish officials - who just is not in this ranking. And they will combine two key factors: the first - millions of dollars in assets, and the second - a fanatical devotion to the cause of democracy.

Centralized Power Key to Realizing Xi’s “China Dream”

By Willy Lam

Immediately after Xi Jinping was elected state president at the just-ended First Session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), he revisited his idea about fulfilling the “China dream.” Xi, who is also general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and commander-in-chief, cited three prerequisites for bringing about the “renaissance of the Chinese race:” following the “Chinese road,” “developing the China spirit” and “concentrating and crystallizing China’s strength” (Xinhua, March 17). The last imperative about the concentration of powers has been reflected by the fact that a number of key party and state organs have been strengthened considerably. As Xi has reiterated since the 18th Party Congress last November, a crucial challenge of the new leadership is that it must “ensure that [Beijing’s] policies and directives are smoothly followed” by the entire nation (CNTV.cn, February 6; China.com.cn, January 8).

Kazakh leader disagrees with theories about catastrophic developments of Central Asian events

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan does not agree with catastrophic theories of further developments in the events in Central Asia. This opinion has been expressed by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in his welcoming speech to the participants of the Eurasian Media Forum 2013, being held in "Kazmediacenter".

Why Does Ukraine Matter to the EU?

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By Olga Shumylo-Tapiola

Some adults turn their noses up at the question of “why,” believing it to be childish. And when it comes to the EU’s foreign policy, especially in its Eastern neighborhood, the question is considered simply inappropriate. That the EU will engage with its Eastern neighbors is just a given today. Take Ukraine. The EU has made a significant political investment in Kyiv over the years but has not given much thought to why Ukraine matters.