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Category: Articles and Commentary

Kosovo’s Council of Europe aspirations spark controversy in Serbia

The Council of Europe has become the latest flashpoint in relations between Serbia and Kosovo. While Pristina has expressed its desire to join the body, Belgrade has threatened to abandon the organization altogether. Such a move would only further challenge the delicate rights regime that exists in the country.

May 2, 2024 - Tea Kljajić

Finding Sweden’s role in a new NATO

Swedish Minister of Defence Pål Jonson said earlier this year that "war can come to us too." Meanwhile, Minister of Civil Defence Carl Bohlin has appealed to the public to "mentally prepare for the outbreak of war”. Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Micael Bydén has even warned that war in Ukraine is not the Kremlin’s ultimate goal but only a step to tear down the existing rules-based international order. In March 2024, Sweden officially became the 32nd member of NATO. However, the road for this Nordic country, which has not been at war since 1814, to join the strongest defence alliance in the history of the world has not been easy.

April 30, 2024 - Karolina Zub-Lewińska

High time for Armenia’s Euro-Atlantic integration

Following the end of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, it is clear that Armenia is embracing the possibility of Euro-Atlantic integration. While the country still faces many internal and external problems, a desire for closer links is clear at the levels of both state and society.

April 29, 2024 - Valentina Gevorgyan

When will a different future seem possible for Russia?

As Russia continues to adapt to its new isolated existence, it appears that nothing will change in the country’s domestic politics. Despite this, history has shown that opportunities to challenge Moscow’s seemingly impenetrable status quo can and will eventually appear.

April 26, 2024 - James C. Pearce

Battle for democracy continues in Georgia: why the EU cannot afford to overlook it

As Western elections unfold in a politically fragmented environment in 2024, there is a looming risk of the EU overlooking significant political shifts leading up to Georgia’s crucial parliamentary elections on October 26th. Ignoring these developments and omitting the provision of necessary support beyond the soft-power toolbox to the Georgian people could jeopardize Georgia’s hard-fought EU integration process.

April 25, 2024 - Ia Khodeli Irakli Jgharkava Kristina Pitalskaya 

“The Devils” and Putin: a Dostoevskian reflection

Moscow’s brutal actions in Ukraine and at home offer an insight into a country struggling with conceptions of morality. Indeed, Putin’s Russia now appears to be gripped by a nihilism described in detail by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Amid such uncertainties, it is almost impossible to predict the country’s future.

April 23, 2024 - Serghei Sadohin

Dark clouds over Azerbaijan

A decade after the times of “Caviar Diplomacy” when Azerbaijan would buy up support from the delegates of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the mood among European politicians has turned a full 180 degrees. The Azerbaijani delegation was excluded from the sessions for a year by a clear majority of the votes for the “persistent violation of norms and standards of the institution” and a lack of cooperation with PACE. Is this the beginning of the end of Baku’s participation in the Council of Europe?

April 17, 2024 - Anna Zamejc

The “Deceased Hope”: on the death of Alexei Navalny

Boris Nemtsov, the indomitable Russian regime critic, died on February 27th 2015 after a pernicious assault on his life, yet the Putin regime survived his violent death almost unscathed. Will Alexei Navalny's untimely death also pass by without any serious consequences for Russia's ruling establishment?

April 12, 2024 - Leonid Luks

Another Russia is possible

When Putin is finally gone, a majority of the elite and population will want Russia to return to Europe. Europe should facilitate that. There is a massive generational shift currently underway in Russia. These people are open to the outside world, western culture and are independent of the Russian state and Soviet ideology. That shift is closer than people think and the world needs to be ready. That is where the next battle will take place and it is one the West could lose.

On an alcohol-fuelled Zoom catch up, my friends and I put the world to rights. The usual suspects came up: sports, holidays, our kids, women and politics. Before we knew it, the conversation turned to the elephant in the room: the war. Eyebrows were raised, deep breaths exhaled and shoulders shrugged. A couple of heads were scratched. What more can we say? How much guilt should we feel for something we did not personally choose, support or want? We abruptly moved on, but exactly one week later Russian forces recaptured Avdiivka. They had the wind in their backs.

April 11, 2024 - Jesse Sokolov

Three Seas Initiative goes beyond abstract regional concept

The idea of an alliance between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe has remained a popular theory over the past century. Despite this, outside actors have kept such an idea from becoming reality. The Three Seas Initiative of today possesses the potential to truly realize this coalition in testing times.

April 10, 2024 - Jozef Hrabina

Ukraine’s strategic resurgence: redefining power dynamics in the Black Sea

While reports from Ukraine have remained focused on the land war, the fight at sea continues with little respite. The country’s successes in the naval battle have come against all the odds and should only encourage allies to beef up support for Kyiv’s victory.

April 9, 2024 - Leon Hartwell

Belarus and Russia: not in one but different baskets

In spite of their shared desires to challenge the status quo, the Belarusian and Russian oppositions do not always see eye to eye. This is largely the result of a continued assumption that Belarus is uniquely tied to its larger neighbour. The status of Belarusian exiles in the EU today subsequently depends on the recognition of these differences.

April 8, 2024 - Hanna Vasilevich

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