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Analysis

Security in Europe with Russia and/or from Russia?

The debate among German foreign policy experts on how to end the crisis with Russia has heated up once again. Yet, many observers continue to neglect the primary determinants of Russian foreign policy, which are rooted in domestic politics and are not going to change any time soon.

The Russian military exercise “Zapad 2017” held on the borders of NATO member states showed a significant increase in Russian forces in the Baltic Sea region. Just like during the Cold War, this exercise had the goal of demonstrating Russia’s military might to the West – the country’s alleged enemy. With the illegal annexation of Crimea as well as the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, Russia and the West have manoeuvred towards an increasingly militarised confrontation. Moscow’s questioning of the European security order marked the climax of the alienation and antagonisation that started much earlier. With Vladimir Putin’s 2007 speech at the Munich security conference, where he accused the West of systematically countering Russia’s interests in the region, as well as the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, it became clear that Russia is defining its interests in opposition to the West. Russia does not want to be integrated into the West but has the ambition to further integrate former Soviet states into its orbit.

January 2, 2018 - Manfred Huterer

The choice of Serzh Sargsyan

The approaching year might be groundbreaking for Armenia’s political scene, as the country awaits president Serzh Sargsyan’s decision on what to do after his mandate ends in April 2018.

December 22, 2017 - Bartłomiej Krzysztan

The Transnistrian gambit

Over the past few weeks unprecedented progress in the negotiations between the government in Chișinău and the authorities of the breakaway-separatist region of Transnistria has unfolded. The progress has caused modest hope for a breakthrough in this 25-year-long frozen conflict and it should rather be seen as a tool in Vlad Plahotniuc's political game. The oligarch ruling over Moldova cleverly draws on a beneficial international environment and the favourability of Moscow and Tiraspol.

December 21, 2017 - Kamil Całus

Putin 2018: The chronicle of victory foretold

Putin's victory in next year's presidential election is almost certain. Finding a new development model for Russia and fighting poverty are the real issues for the 2018-2024 term. And the strategy is yet to be defined.

December 20, 2017 - Cyrille Bret

A chance for peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine?

The revival of the idea of peacekeepers in Donbas demonstrates the desire of both Russia and Ukraine to reserve some space for diplomatic maneuvers. With such peace initiatives, each party aims to show its commitment to the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Donbas and to blame the other side for negotiations failures. The actual deployment of the UN mission is still unlikely.

December 19, 2017 - Vasyl Mykhailyshyn

Romania’s justice system under threat

Liviu Dragnea, head of Romania’s ruling Social Democrats, is facing allegations of embezzling 24 million euros from EU funds between 2001 and 2012. Despite the massive anti-corruption protests in February 2017, Romania continues to be run by the ruling elite, for the ruling elite.

December 15, 2017 - Maryla Król

France and Eastern Europe: Does Macron have a plan?

Emmanuel Macron wants to embody the return of a dynamic Europe, even if to envisage a multi-speed Europe around a state capable of stimulating a dynamic. To take the lead in this movement, he must show that France is credible on economic matters.

December 13, 2017 - Cyrille Bret and Florent Parmentier

The “Eastern Partnership Plus” is the EU’s failure

The concept of the “Eastern Partnership Plus” seems like an attempt at masking the fact that the entire Eastern Partnership programme has not achieved its goals because it could not do so. The problem of the Eastern Partnership is that its goals are in fact impossible to achieve without eventually granting its members the prospect of EU membership.

December 7, 2017 - Bartek Tesławski

The EU and the Polish national interest: The results of the Euronest sessions

Although the Eastern Partnership project has lost its momentum, there are still a few smaller initiatives being carried out, which, if there is new political will, may turn into an efficient tool for active Eastern policy. This, in turn, may prove beneficial for Polish interests.

December 6, 2017 - Wojciech Jakóbik

The overlooked success of the Brussels summit

At the 2017 Eastern Partnership summit the EU and Armenia signed a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement. A lot will still depend on its implementation, however, the agreement is the most important event in EU-Armenia relations since 2013. The adopted document demonstrates that the EU has instruments to deepen cooperation with the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union.

December 5, 2017 - Mateusz Kubiak

Abkhazia: Looking forward to Syrian recognition

The possible recognition of the de-facto republic of Abkhazia by Syrian authorities runs the risk of compromising their state integrity. However, it is likely that the parties will continue maintaining and improving bilateral relations at an informal level.

December 4, 2017 - Shota Tkhelidze

Russia is taking Armenia for granted

Interview with Richard Giragosian, the director of the Regional Studies Center (RSC) think tank in Yerevan, Armenia. Interviewer: Małgosia Krakowska.

December 1, 2017 - Małgosia Krakowska

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