Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko

Amid Crisis, Belarus re-examines its political and security situation

Belarus will host the latest round of talks between Ukraine and Russia in Minsk on 1 August as Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko continues to push his country as a mediator in the crisis. Lukashenko’s motivation is not altruistic, however, as Belarus is not immune to the competition between Russia and the West over the strategic borderland countries of the former Soviet periphery. […]

Royal Irish Rifles ration party Somme July 1916

Echoes of the Great War resonate a century later

On 28 July 1914, exactly one month after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were shot dead, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. The stage was set for World War I, an inevitable result of decades of political manoeuvring, militarization, alliances and planning for a conflict that would shatter the great European epoch, laying waste to empires and ascendant nations. […]


Emigrant voting rights stir debates in Europe

In recent years, several European countries have made it easier for their citizens living abroad to vote. Some have even created electoral districts to represent emigrants. This is a controversial issue in the countries that grant these rights and in the countries where the immigrants reside, and accusations of foreign meddling in domestic issues abound. Expatriates are becoming an increasingly attractive electoral group for some countries as nationalist parties become more popular throughout the Continent. This will create tension between the countries that impose strict immigration policies and those that want to attract the votes of their citizens living abroad. […]

Jose Manuel Barroso, Petro Poroshenko, Herman Van Rompuy
European Union

Implementing EU trade deals in the borderlands could prove complex

Talks have begun between Russia and the pro-EU former Soviet states of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. The sides are assessing how recently signed free trade deals with the European Union will impact the countries’ trade relations with Russia. The effect will be muted for now, but the agreements could have a larger impact in the future if each country adopts them fully. Full implementation will be challenging because of Russia’s influence and political instability in the three nations.
Analysis […]

No Picture

Opinion: Vilnius increases defence spending in face of disappointing responses from Western Europe

The Lithuanian parliament on July 10 adopted budget amendments to increase spending on national defense by 37.6 million euros. The decision, which was predicted by Stratfor, passed with the support of the government and the opposition and was praised by the American Embassy in Lithuania. With this measure, Lithuania will take its military spending closer to 1 percent of gross domestic product – a mark still well below NATO’s official target of 2 percent. […]

Eduard Shevardnadze

Remembering Georgia’s Shevardnadze

Eduard Shevardnadze, the last foreign minister of the Soviet Union and onetime president of Georgia, died Monday. Shevardnadze had not been active in politics since his ouster as president during the Rose Revolution in 2003. However, his time in politics marks two critical periods of transition in geopolitics and the world: the end of the Cold War and the restart of the U.S.-Russian struggle. […]