Europe's East

The Baltic-Nordic Region Is Attractive, Sets A Good Example Of Regional Cooperation, Lithuanian Foreign Vice-Minister Says In Washington, D.C.

On 10 April in Washington, D.C., Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Evaldas Ignatavičius discussed an upcoming NATO summit with Assistant Secretary for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon. The Vice-Minister participated in a round table discussion on Belarus together with representatives from U.S. think tanks and gave a lecture about the Baltic-Nordic-U.S. cooperation.

Putin-Erdogan Alliance can Turn into Political Reality

By Stanislav Tarasov

As Turkish Mass Media reported, one of these days the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to visit Russia under the invitation of Vladimir Putin. As informed earlier, during the talks in Moscow between the Ministers of Culture and Tourism of Turkey and Russia Vladimir Putin contacted by phone Turkish Minister and asked to pass the greetings to his friend the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and also the invitation to visit Russia at his convenience. “Russian considers Turkey to be its best friend and we intend to develop these relations in any spheres”, this how most of Turkish Mass Media a quoted the comments of the Russian Government Head. It’s worth to add to this also the message that in course of the talks during the Summit on nuclear safety in Seoul the President of Russian Dmitry Medvedev invited Erdogan to visit Moscow to take part in the inauguration of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Will Slovakia’s Robert Fico Be Another Viktor Orban?

By Pavol Demes

What is going on in Central Europe? After Viktor Orban’s consolidation of power in Hungary, another political strongman has returned to the helm, this time in Slovakia. Former Prime Minister Robert Fico has once again assumed the leadership of Slovakia following his Smer-Social Democracy (SMER-SD) party’s landslide victory in last month’s elections. Like Orban in Hungary, Fico will preside over the first single-party cabinet in Slovakia since the collapse of communism in 1989. His coalition government between 2006 and 2010 had been accused of abuses of power and a lack of respect toward the opposition, media, and NGOs. And, much like his Hungarian counterpart, Fico could yet use his political mandate to attempt to reinterpret Slovakia’s history, change key laws, or battle with the European Union on nationalistic grounds.

Latvian-Lithuanian Co-operation Perspectives

By Vadim Volovoj

The Report on Latvian-Lithuanian Co-operation Perspectives was presented in January of this year by the ambassadors Neris Germanas (Lithuania) and Alberts Sarkanis (Latvia). In fact Lithuania’s foreign policy is directed toward the U.S., Russia, Belarus and Poland, whereas a close neighbor Latvia is somehow left aside. The authors of the Report ask: “Why… in reality today we are not closer and better acquainted with each other than with more distant neighboring nations? […].  Why are we incapable, despite the publicly declared unity, to coordinate and come forward with a common position which could be useful for us as well as for a wider region?”

Lithuania and Poland: Lost in Translation

By Wojciech Borodzicz-Smolinski, Vytis Jurkonis

Lithuanian–Polish relations, though far from being perfect in the political sense, are on a very good level in economic terms. This awkward situation is not only a hard task for policy makers, but may also influence future generations and their vision regarding the cooperation between Poland and Lithuania. The bilateral relations of Poland and Lithuania, therefore, have become hostage to the complicated history of both nations and their respective complex inner political situations.

The State of the World: Germany's Strategy

By George Friedman

The idea of Germany having an independent national strategy runs counter to everything that Germany has wanted to be since World War II and everything the world has wanted from Germany. In a way, the entire structure of modern Europe was created to take advantage of Germany's economic dynamism while avoiding the threat of German domination. In writing about German strategy, I am raising the possibility that the basic structure of Western Europe since World War II and of Europe as a whole since 1991 is coming to a close.