Text resize: A A
Change contrast

Category: Articles and Commentary

Can the Council of Europe stand up to Putin?

As the European consensus for sanctions against Russia is eroding, the Council of Europe has found itself in a difficult position.

September 24, 2018 - Maryla Król

The one shall be taken, and the other left

The Russian people overwhelmingly supported annexing the Crimea to Russia in 2014, but not the Donbas. What explains this anomaly?

September 21, 2018 - Dorka Takácsy

The future of Chinese investment in the Caucasus – The case of Abkhazia

China is balancing its investments with large doses of pragmatism in the Caucasus. Internationally recognized partners or not, work on the Belt and Road Initiative must proceed.

September 20, 2018 - Michael Eric Lambert

Tymoshenko and Hrytsenko showed they are not pro-European candidates

Two of the candidates in the highly contested Presidential elections in Ukraine next year, presented their ideas for the future at the annual YES conference. Together they proposed a vision reminiscent of Kuchma and Yanukovych.

September 18, 2018 - Taras Kuzio

Nighttime reflection on the soft power of Russia in contemporary times

It is difficult to describe the soft power of Russia. Is it viable to think of it in Western terms?

September 11, 2018 - Michael Eric Lambert

Bulgaria: an unlikely personality cult

The Zhivkov personality cult reaches its annual crescendo during the lavish celebrations of the late dictator's successive anniversaries of birth on the 7th of September in his hometown of Pravets, near Sofia. EU and Bulgarian flags will again provide the background for a leader synonymous with Bulgarian communism, including its darker chapters.

September 7, 2018 - Tomasz Kamusella

Moldovans. A (de)constructed nation.

The local political-business elite is doing everything in its power to halt the finalisation of the formation of the Moldovan nation. While looking to the West, the elites have had the same role as the “Green Barons” of the kolkhoz nomenclature

September 6, 2018 - Piotr Oleksy

Social media and resistance: citizen reporters in Crimea

The peninsula has long left the front pages of international media. What remains is a brave and tireless group of citizens, who risk more than most to get information out of an increasingly isolated place.

September 4, 2018 - Maria Baldovin

Softly, softly Belarus

One might not notice it, but certain changes are taking place in Belarus. This may be good news for European policymakers and diplomats who seek to engage Belarus and keep it balanced in its relations with Russia, as long as expectations are not kept too high.

Belarus is changing. It is changing in ways that help European engagement. But, to be clear, the area where change is minimal is probably the one where Europeans want to see the most improvement. This is the political sphere. The label “Last Dictatorship in Europe” may be out of date, but Belarus is not about to become a democracy any time soon. What is driving change is the concept of sovereignty. First is the logic of sovereignty, which has been operative for some time; but often belated or delayed by political factors, namely Belarus’s formerly close relationship with Russia. Second is the threat to sovereignty since the situation in Ukraine from 2014; though partly this threat can be traced back to the war in Georgia in 2008.

September 2, 2018 - Andrew Wilson

Energy independence should be priority

Since independence, Belarus has not been able to overcome its total dependence on Russian energy supplies. With the construction of a Belarusian nuclear power plant, this dependence will only become stronger.

As is well-known, Belarus purchases crude oil from Russia and so far has earned good money from it. It imports Russian oil without any tariffs, and only after exporting the processed oil does it generate export duties, which are then transferred to its own budget. Prior to 2015 Belarus had transferred it to the Russian budget, but since the announcement of the implementation by the Russian Federation of the "tax manoeuvre" in the oil industry, Minsk requested compensation for its costs, mainly due to the ratification of the treaty on the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). As a result, Moscow agreed to allow export duties on oil products from Belarus to be transferred directly to the Belarusian budget through 2024.

September 1, 2018 - Tatiana Manenok

Little change in the Belarusian economy

For years the Belarusian economy has faced the same challenges. The main input to state coffers comes from a few gas enterprises and the military industry, while many branches of the economy remain ineffective. Heavy dependence on Russia is also a serious problem. The only cure is structural reforms. Yet, seemingly there is no political will for their quick implementation.

According to official projections, Belarus is to reach 3.5 per cent GDP growth this year. Less optimistic is the forecast of the IMF which believes growth will be at only 0.7 per cent. The National Bank of Belarus, in turn, assumes inflation will not pass seven per cent. Regardless of the source, the predicted growth is not going to result in any form of structural change to the Belarusian economy. Rather it will be a reflection of global economic prosperity and higher gas prices.

September 1, 2018 - Anna Maria Dyner

August 80′ forever

Today Poland celebrates the accords of the 31st of August 1980. The Solidarity movement had a profound impact on the countries of the Eastern Bloc under Soviet control. In Poland, the events that led to its creation still continue to influence national politics.

August 31, 2018 - Daniel Gleichgewicht

Partners

Terms of Use | Cookie policy | Copyryight 2018 Kolegium Europy Wschodniej im. Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego
webdesign : hauerpower.com