May 2015

NATO Foreign Ministers discuss boosting cooperation with EU, other partners

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Allies must build closer cooperation with partners and organisations like the European Union, to better address the security challenges to the east and south, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday (14 May 2015). “The challenges we all face demand a comprehensive response, so all of us need to work even closer together,” he said at the end of a two-day meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Antalya, Turkey.

“Money in the Morning — Chairs In The Evening” or “Eastern Partnership” before the Riga Summit

By Nikolay Mezhevich

Let us recall Ilf and Petrov’s immortal novel “The Twelve Chairs”, in which the Marxist formula “goods-money-goods” was set out by the authors from Odessa in the local version: “money in the morning – chairs in the evening”. In relation to the history of the “Eastern partnership”, we understand the term “chairs” as meaning political and economic reforms, while the interpretation of “money” remains unchanged.

Europe Versus Gazprom

By Nina L. Khrushcheva

For years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has wielded Europe’s dependence on his country’s natural gas as a foreign-policy weapon, without fear of the European Union calling his bluff – until now. With the EU launching an antitrust case against the state-controlled gas conglomerate Gazprom, Europe has sent a clear signal that Putin’s brutishness is no longer as intimidating as it once was.

Merkel’s Visit: in Different Languages

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By Svetlana Samoylova

On May 10th President of Russia Vladimir Putin held talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. German Chancellor as well as other European leaders refused to attend the parade held in Red Square, but considered important to maintain political contacts with Russia. Except for that Germany, being the aggressor country during the World War II, had to pass its compassion to the people of Russia.

Why Russia Will Send More Troops to Central Asia

Russia is making a concerted effort to increase its military and security presence throughout Central Asia, just not for the reasons it would have you think. Though the Kremlin is concerned with the threat of spillover violence from Islamist militancy in Afghanistan — its purported motive for deploying more troops — it is far more alarmed by what it sees as Chinese and Western encroachment into lands over which it has long held sway. It is this concern that will shape Moscow's behavior in Central Asia in the years to come.

Quo vadis European Neighbourhood Policy?

By Viljar Veebel

The Vilnius Summit, dedicated to the Eastern Partnership, that took place in December 2013 would have given reason to celebrate 10th anniversary of the European Neighbourhood Policy accompanied by the presentation of achievements, such as the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, as well as by the introduction of optimistic plans for the future. The fiasco that happened in Vilnius and subsequent events in Ukraine were nevertheless merely (and hopefully) the symbolic final chord of the events of past five years that exemplified once again the malfunction of the existing principles of the European Neighbourhood Policy in practice both in Southern and Eastern Dimension and signalled the need for an immediate change.

David Cameron’s Europe

By Carl Bildt

The next 18-24 months are likely to decide the shape of Europe for decades to come, and the United Kingdom has now started the clock on that process. Reelected with a resounding – and entirely unexpected – majority in the House of Commons, Prime Minister David Cameron must now use his increased mandate to set out an EU reform package that is attractive to all member states.