April 2016

Nazarbayev Discusses EU-Kazakhstan Partnership and Cooperation With Senior European Officials on Visit in Brussels

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev paid a working visit to Brussels March 30, meeting President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk and laying flowers at a memorial to those killed in the recent terror attacks in Brussels.

Russia, Nato bellicose despite lull in Eastern European hostilities

By Jan van der Made

Russia has reacted angrily to Nato plans to move some 4,000 troops to the Eastern part of the European Union. At the same time Russia is boycotting the Nuclear Security Summit which got under way on Thursday in Washington, despite the participation of a number of Central Asian leaders. Analysts say with Russia absent, the US will likely use the opportunity to try and expand its influence with former states of the Soviet Union.

Hungary, Poland and Illiberal Democracy

By George Friedman

Over the past several years, Hungary and Poland have been heavily criticized within the European Union. Both have been scolded, but neither have had sanctions imposed against them. The charge against them is that they have moved in the direction of repression. Since 2010, the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been criticized for, in the view of its critics, impeding on press freedoms and independence of the judiciary, as well as undermining checks and balances and the rule of law. In Poland, after coming to power in October 2015, the new government of the Law and Justice party has introduced laws that, according to its critics, limit the independence of the media. Moreover, the government triggered a constitutional crisis when it took steps that undermined the ability of the Constitutional Tribunal to function. In addition, both countries have come under attack for opposing large-scale immigration.