Text resize: A A
Change contrast
new Eastern Europe Krakow new Eastern Europe

Hot Topics

The Black Sea region. A complex and dynamic space

Countries in the Black Sea region remain hostage to geopolitics and history. The impact of various factors on the shape of relations on this area is still very noticeable. Thus, any examination of the geopolitical situation here that does not account for historical conditions may diminish the complexity of the situation on the ground.

The geopolitical rivalry and the clash of interests between the superpowers have been present in the Black Sea region for centuries. During the Cold War when the East-West divide was at its height, the Black Sea was “excluded” from geopolitical competition between the superpowers as it became the domain of mainly one player – the Soviet Union.

August 26, 2019 - Tomasz Stępniewski

Security takes centre stage in the Black Sea

The annexation and militarisation of the Crimean Peninsula has given Russia greater access to use enhanced military capabilities to project its forces in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East and apply pressure on the other countries in the region, particularly Ukraine and Georgia. In response, NATO and the Euro-Atlantic community have started developing a new approach to Black Sea security.

The Black Sea region over the centuries has been the subject of interest of empires and powerful states. The region, as a security space, has a complicated history. It combines a central maritime space with limited access and coastal areas that link it to the regional security complexes of Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East – and that often intersect and overlap.

August 26, 2019 - Zurab Agladze

Georgia’s long and uncertain road to NATO membership

Georgia’s membership of NATO lies at the core of its foreign policy. The ambition is beyond the line of ministries and state bureaucratic apparatus, as it represents the utmost desire of the entire country.

Recent polls in Georgia suggest that support for the country’s membership of NATO is at more than 70 per cent. Euro-Atlantic integration is Tbilisi’s near-term objective. The longer-term strategy is to move closer to NATO is non-negotiable for the state. Considering its geographic location, in the company of a hostile neighbour, Georgia adamantly wants to gain security by joining the Alliance. However, NATO is not only a security choice for Georgia; it is also a reflection of its political values and foreign policy.

August 26, 2019 - Giorgi Goguadze

The shift of dominance in the Black Sea

Turkey’s policy in the Black Sea, which mainly aims to deter NATO’s presence in the region, has diminished its overall role, making it more vulnerable to Russia’s growing influence. Russian’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 was a clear signal that the Black Sea is gradually becoming a Russian lake, upsetting the equilibrium that has been in place for nearly a century.

Despite centuries of political and military conflicts and other power dynamics around the Black Sea, there has never been a period in history when a common conception of the Black Sea region existed – not even among the littoral states. Accordingly, the Black Sea region has gradually evolved into a unit of analysis, a sort of framework under which certain power dynamics are analysed by different scholars and policy-makers.

August 26, 2019 - Sophia Petriashvili

A sea of insecurity

The Black Sea has always been an important geopolitical theatre. The November 2018 Russian attack on Ukraine’s naval convoy illustrates the Kremlin’s desire to assert dominance in the region and causing greater insecurity and uncertainty for those pro-western states that are situated along the sea coast.

The Black Sea, though serving as an extension of the wider Mediterranean space, has always been strategically important in global politics. The level of interest global powers have expressed in the region has varied from time to time, but the sea has its own merits as a space where historical steppe lands from the north, the isolated South Caucasus, the wider Middle East and the Mediterranean met each other.

August 26, 2019 - Emil Avdaliani

A playground for influence

The Black Sea region is once again becoming an arena attracting large powers to invest and develop. However, the growing interest among the various powers also leads to a higher risk of conflict and confrontation, something that this region is already known for, historically.

Hellenes referred to the Black Sea as Póntos Áxeinos which derives from the ancient Persian word axšaina used to describe objects of dark colour. The Black Sea region has, historically speaking, been an arena of confrontation between different nations. It has witnessed the glorious rise of empires as well as their crushing defeats. During the heyday of the Ottoman Empire, the Black Sea was referred to as an “Ottoman Lake”. European states have also been historically involved in the disputes over the region.

August 26, 2019 - Leo Sikharulidze

The cost of five years of war in Donbas

Beyond the catastrophic economic price Ukraine has been forced to pay, the war in Donbas has taken a terrible toll on the lives of millions of ordinary Ukrainians. Nothing but a lasting peace and reintegration can turn this situation around.

Seven years ago, in the summer of 2012, some ten thousand English and French football fans made the journey to Donetsk in eastern Ukraine to see their teams play in the group stages of the UEFA European football championship and then party in the centre of town. They took the newly delivered Hyundair Rotem Intercity trains from Kyiv or flew into the recently opened terminal at Sergey Prokofiev International Airport in Donetsk. It was the capital of the country’s industry, the most populous region and at this time a calling card for Ukraine. No one then could have foreseen that the conflict that erupted less than two years later would turn the region into an active war zone.

August 26, 2019 - Janek Lasocki

The risks and rewards of investigative journalism in Central Eastern Europe

Between October 2017 and April 2019 four reporters doing investigative journalism were killed in Europe: Daphne Caruana Galizia from Malta, Ján Kuciak from Slovakia, Victoria Marinova from Bulgaria, and Lyra McKee from Northern Ireland. Their deaths happened in different circumstances, but they were always related to their profession. Given that investigative reporting is public interest journalism, it should be safeguarded by governments. However this is not always the case in Central and Eastern Europe.

The independent NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warns that in Europe “hatred of journalists has degenerated into violence, contributing to an increase in fear.” Whereas the EU is no longer a safe haven for journalists, the media environment in Central and Eastern Europe has been deteriorating. The Visegrad Four countries have been plummeting in the Freedom House's Freedom of the Press and the RSF's Press Freedom Index rankings since 2015. Hungary dropped from 67th to 87th place on the Press Freedom Index between 2016 and 2019, while Freedom of the Press changed the status of Hungarian media from “free” to “partly free” in 2012.

August 26, 2019 - Lorenzo Berardi

Biological weapons resurface in disinformation campaigns

Since the poisoning of Sergei Skripal by Russian intelligence officers as well as the chemical attack by Assad forces in Douma, Moscow has ratcheted up its rhetoric about American biological weapons laboratories in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. By employing such allegations, Russia is sending dangerous signals to the US as a part of its ongoing confrontation with the West.

During a press briefing in Moscow on October 4th 2018, General Major Igor Kirillov, commander of Russia’s radiological, chemical and biological defence troops, stated that as a result of medical experimentation on people, which were conducted by a company belonging to the former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 73 Georgian citizens have been killed. Kirillov claimed that the US has financed biological laboratories in Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan and is continuing to develop biological weapons “under the guise of peaceful research”.

August 26, 2019 - Nurlan Aliyev

There will be no singing revolution in Russia

The Russian authorities are wiser after the occurrence of numerous colour revolutions in post-Soviet states. They have been working on a new arsenal of measures capable of halting events that could lead to social protests. The independent music scene is a perfect illustration of this.

Analyses of revolutions in post-communist countries have neglected the role that culture has played. Even the fact that the main social protests in the post-Soviet states were named after colours, or flowers, is quite telling. In Ukraine there was the Orange Revolution in the winter of 2004/2005, while in Belarus, in 2005, there was the denim protest, which was also known as the Cornflower Revolution. In the same year, there was the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, while in Georgia there was the revolution of roses two years prior.

August 26, 2019 - Wojciech Siegień

“It’s a shame!”

Anti-government demonstrations continue for the 4th consecutive day in Tbilisi.

June 24, 2019 - Anastasia Mgaloblishvili

Moldova in the midst of an anti-oligarchic revolt

An alliance of opponents of the oligarchy is revolting against a gradual state capture in Moldova.

June 10, 2019 - Oktawian Milewski

Partners

Terms of Use | Cookie policy | Copyryight 2019 Kolegium Europy Wschodniej im. Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego 31-153 Kraków
tworzenie stron www : hauerpower.com studio krakow.