Europe's East

Abkhazia: End Of Virtual Independence

Everyone already knew that Abkhazia's 'independence' is a farce. But on 17 February the slightest remaining illusions about this so-called independence vanished. On that day the de facto Abkhaz President was received by the Russian leadership as head of a ‘sovereign’ state and then signed an agreement with Russia which gave up even the farcical claim to independence the breakaway region previously had.

Wrong Time for Armenian Genocide Bill

By Matt Stone

Demonstrating a predictable lack of strategic foresight, the U.S. Congress plans to renew its obsession with the Armenian genocide tomorrow, when the House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold its mark-up session for the Armenian Genocide resolution. In 2007, the resolution -- which "[calls] upon the president to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning . . . the Armenian Genocide" -- passed out of committee but never reached a vote on the House floor, following a strong pushback effort from the Bush administration. The supporters of this year's iteration hope the Obama White House will prove less resistant to its foreign policy being held hostage to Congress's parochial interests.

Vyshegrad Group - new dimention?

By Gabor Stier

At the beginning of March a joint meeting of ministers for foreign affairs of the countries from the Vyshegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) and member states of the European Union program ‘Eastern Partnership’ (Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) is to be held in Budapest. Participation of their colleagues from the EU presiding ‘troika’ – Spain, Great Britain and Hungary – is also expected.