Europe's East

Poland and Germany: How Close is too Close?

By Michal Baranowski, Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff

For hundreds of years, Poland suffered from an overbearing Germany that trampled on the rights of the Polish nation, occupied the country, and, at times, worked to extinguish the Polish nation-state entirely. No wonder that there is a residue of skepticism and caution in Poland when it comes to relations with its big neighbor to the west. A healthy distance and dose of hedging have long been the default position of the country’s foreign policy. Poland’s accession to the European Union has changed all that. Nearly eight years on, Poland is rephrasing its German question, and in a baffling way: how close is too close?

Paris “Bulldozer’ for Euro-Atlantic Integration of Armenia

By Anush Levonian

Reaction of Armenian citizens on the decision of the Senate of France to criminalize the responsibility for denial of genocide was extremely emotional. It was up to that some participants of the action "Merci, France!", who gathered by the building of the embassy in Yerevan tried to kiss the hand of French Ambassador coming out to them, which confused the diplomat greatly. Some excuse for such “Eastern spontaneity” although can be the fact that in Turkey and Azerbaijan emotions (naturally negative) are also extreme. One of Baku radio stations, for example, banned French music in its air.

Dzhioyeva Announced the Date of Her Inauguration

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The leader of South Ossetia opposition, ex-candidate for the President of South Ossetia Alla Dzhioyeva declared to reporters that she had appointed the day of her inauguration on February 10th 2012. “I address to the acting President of South Ossetia Vadim Borovtsev and ask to delegate me the power in civilized way”, - said Dzhioyeva. She underlined that the inauguration shall take place in Tskhinvali in any case, even if the authorities won’t assure her required conditions.

New Year, Same Crisis

By George Soros

The measures introduced by the European Central Bank last December, especially the Long Term Refinancing Operation (LTRO), have relieved the liquidity problems of European banks, but have not cured the financing disadvantage of the highly indebted member states. Since high-risk premiums on government bonds endanger the capital adequacy of banks, half a solution is not enough.

Azerbaijan and Armenia Say They Want to Speed Things Up at Medvedev’s Last Summit

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By Andrew Roth

For the tenth time during his presidency, Dmitry Medvedev met with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to settle the frozen conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The meeting, which took place yesterday in Sochi, once again failed to secure a breakthrough in the negotiations. As Russia turns inward to focus on recent political protests and Medvedev plans a speedy exit from the limelight, there is still no end in sight to what he has called possibly the only conflict in the post-Soviet space that can be settled today.