August 2016

Baltic and Nordic Foreign Ministers to meet in Riga

On 25-26 August, Riga will host the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic and Nordic countries in the NB8 format. Latvia will welcome the region’s representatives as the country coordinating the NB8 cooperation in 2016. The programme includes a reflection on cooperation in the region over the 25 years since the Baltic States regained their independence and a discussion on current developments in Europe as well as security issues in the region and beyond.

Aftermath of Coup Underscores Differences in Turkish and Western Perspe

By Emiliano Alessandri

Turkey’s failed coup and the ensuing repression have brought to the surface a difference in perspectives between Western elites and their western-oriented counterparts in Turkey – perhaps even a fundamental difference in mindsets. Recent years had seen voices on both sides that seemed to find common ground, sharing concerns about both Turkey’s troubled foreign relations and the growing polarization and majoritarian tendencies of its domestic politics. These developments call for a sober reevaluation of the conventional wisdom that Turkish and Western perspectives were in fact drawing closer. 

NATO-Russia Post-Warsaw Summit: Towards A Conversation that Matters?

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By Isabelle Francois

At their July 2016 Summit meeting in Warsaw, NATO Heads of State and Government declared their readiness to meet security challenges originating from east and south through deterrence and defence with the appropriate mix of nuclear, conventional and missile defence capabilities. This translated into decisions to enhance the allied presence in the eastern part of Alliance territory, while affirming readiness for a meaningful dialogue with Russia. Moscow, through various declarations over recent months, has also showed interest in preserving the option of dialogue, while preparing to deploy radars on the Baltic and Black Sea coasts. The post-Summit question, however, remains what type of dialogue are NATO and Russia likely to nurture?

Two Surprising Proposals for Peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh

By MATTHEW J. BRYZA

It has been a long time since I have sensed any cause for optimism about the prospects of a political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Indeed, Armenia and Azerbaijan nearly resumed full-scale war in April, when their troops clashed along the line of contact with a level of ferocity unprecedented during the twenty-two years since the previous ceasefire. As the dust has settled, however, two new openings have emerged, one rather unexpectedly from Russian President Vladimir Putin and another from a regional business leader. Both merit Washington’s close examination and perhaps its embrace.