Brexit: A protester in London spells out one of the possible implications of the vote
Foreign affairs

Brexit: a short guide to what is likely to happen next

In a historic referendum, British citizens voted to leave the European Union on June 23, with 51.9 percent of voters choosing an exit. For the first time since its creation in the mid-1950s, the bloc will soon lose a member. The move is triggering a chain of events that will be felt around the globe, and it pushes both Britain and the European Union into a prolonged period of uncertainty that will fundamentally change the future of Europe. […]

Minsk
Opinion

In Belarus, a political transformation takes shape

For two decades Belarus has clung to the past. Led by President Aleksandr Lukashenko since 1994, the country’s political system remains largely unreformed since the Soviet era. […]

No Picture
Opinion

Tenuous immigration agreement between EU and Turkey

After two days of negotiations, Turkey and the European Union reached a compromise agreement on a plan to reduce the flow of migrants from the Middle East to Europe. At a summit concluding March 18, the heads of government of the 28 EU members and their Turkish counterparts approved the plan, which should take effect March 20. While the deal could help reduce the number of migrants arriving in Europe, questions remain about the signatories’ ability and commitment to fully enforce it. […]

Alexander Lukashenko, Vladimir Putin
Uncategorized

Belarus and Armenia re-evaluate relations with Russia

Recent developments indicate that two of Moscow’s most loyal allies in the former Soviet periphery, Belarus and Armenia, may be reassessing their ties with Russia in light of the country’s standoff with the West. […]

No Picture
Uncategorized

Stratfor: Poland and Baltic states will continue to promote Ukraine’s Western ties

As the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine continues into 2015, the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will come to play an increasingly important role. Even before the crisis, the three Baltic states — as well as neighboring Poland — were among the most active EU member states attempting to bring Ukraine closer to the West and to challenge Russia’s role in the former Soviet periphery. Their efforts along these lines will intensify this year. Ultimately, however, more powerful players in the standoff will limit the impacts of their efforts, particularly Germany and the United States. […]

South stream, Pietų srautas
Uncategorized

Europe and Russia after South Stream

The crisis in Ukraine, and in particular Russia‘s recent cancellation of the South Stream natural gas pipeline project, has had substantial ripple effects on the energy dynamics on the European continent. The Russians and Europeans both have put forth several potential replacements for the now scrapped pipeline, with Turkey likely to play a pivotal role either way. […]

Latvian falg
Uncategorized

Pro-Russian activity raises concerns in Latvia

A reported uptick in pro-Russian activity in the eastern Latvian region of Latgale highlights Riga’s concerns about Russia, particularly in light of the standoff between Moscow and the West over Ukraine. Although the potential for serious pro-Russian separatist activity to materialize is much lower in Latvia than it was in Ukraine, Moscow still represents a threat to Riga, as demonstrated in a Nov. 18 report of Russian military planes flying near Latvian airspace and territorial waters. Because Latvia supports the pro-Western government in Ukraine and is courting a greater security commitment from NATO, Russia will likely maintain pressure on the small but strategic Baltic country through Russian-speaking communities and other means. […]

No Picture
Uncategorized

Lithuania courts Belarus with economic incentives

As the competition between Russia and the West over Ukraine unfolds, there is a similar yet more subtle process occurring in the neighbouring state of Belarus. Lithuania has been one of the leading players in the effort to bring Belarus economically and politically closer to the European Union, a position Vilnius pushed during a Lithuania-Belarus economic forum held 4-5 November. […]

No Picture
Energy

Russia’s hold on the Baltics loosens

Lithuania is set to open a floating liquid natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Klaipėda on 27 October. The LNG terminal, once fully operational, will play a significant role in reducing Lithuania and other Baltic states’ energy dependence on Russia. This will weaken Russia’s use of energy as a political tool in the Baltics, and in turn offer some limited protection for the Baltic countries in the standoff between Moscow and the West. […]

No Picture
Uncategorized

Competing interests threaten Baltic pressure on Russia

With the September 30 review of EU sanctions against Russia approaching, the Baltic states are among several countries interested in maintaining the pressure on Moscow for its role in the Ukraine crisis. However, Baltic nations are also operating under significant constraints, including the region’s economic ties to Russia and the competing interests of larger EU countries that want to improve relations with Moscow. […]

Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey (R), Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak (C) and Lithuanian Defense Minister Juozas Olekas shake hands after signing an agreement on the creation of a joint military brigade on Sept. 19 in Warsaw.
Uncategorized

Amid conflict, Poland pushes Ukraine to align with West

Throughout the conflict in Ukraine, Poland has tried to use competition between Russia and the West to advance its own interests, which include pulling Ukraine further into the Western camp and pushing for stronger NATO commitment to bolstering Poland against Russia. However, Poland will be limited in its ability to meet its objectives, especially because the next few months will likely see a de-escalation of the stand-off in Ukraine. For its part, Warsaw will continue to pursue regional cooperation initiatives to mitigate the threat from Moscow. […]