October 2016

Baltics to Build Stronger Logistics Within the EU and NATO


By Olevs Nikers

Earlier this month (October 2016), the governments of the Baltic States and Poland finally reached all the necessary political, financial and technical agreements to implement one of the most ambitious projects inside the European Union—linking Finland, the Baltic States and Poland with the unified Trans-European Transport Network (NRA, October 10). The agreed-upon project, which will also have important logistical implications for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), envisions a continuous rail link from Tallinn (Estonia) to Warsaw (Poland), via Riga (Latvia) and Kaunas (Lithuania). The construction of this railway—known as “Rail Baltica”—is planned to start by 2020 and should be completed by 2030. The section from Helsinki to Tallinn will for now be operated by existing commercial ferries.

Minister Lajčák discusses stronger ties between Switzerland and SR as well as the EU

The relations of Slovakia and the EU with Switzerland were discussed by Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, and his Swiss departmental counterpart, Didier Burkhalter, in the town Kehrsatz near Bern today. Their meeting took place on the sidelines of a visit to Switzerland by Andrej Kiska, the President of Slovakia.


The Decline of the West, and How to Stop It


For most of the last 70 years, the United States, Canada and much of Europe have constituted a vast zone of peace, prosperity and democracy. The trans-Atlantic community has grown to over 900 million inhabitants of more than 30 countries. It has set an example for regional cooperation in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia, and served as a mainstay of the liberal world order.

Turkey, Russia, and the European Diplomatic Chessboard


No doubt, Monday, October 10, 2016, will become a key date in Turkey’s diplomatic history. On that day, the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, signed an agreement on the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, which will bring Russian gas to Turkey and onward to the EU. In short, the deal represents a tactical advantage to Turkey and a new strategic position for Russia, which will keep dominating gas supplies to the EU.