Enlargement

Ukraine wants maximum EU pressure put on Russia after Kerch incident

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Speaking in front of the journalists on December 10, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pavlo Klimkin claimed Brussels had promised to step up its efforts and push Moscow to release the 24 Ukrainian sailors that...

Name Dispute: Flaws in Prespes Agreement fuel new Greek firestorm

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With the Prespes Agreement ratification steamroller moving almost inexorably forward in Macedonia/FYROM, public attention to the issue in Greece has refocused and the subject is once again centre stage in view of approaching elections. ...

NATO’s “Bucharest Spell”

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NATO erred in not immediately granting Georgia and Ukraine a Membership Action Plan in April 2008, according to the former head of the alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. This failure sent the wrong signal to Russian...

Georgia’s fragile democracy teetering on the brink

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Free and fair elections are the benchmark for any country that aspires to be a fully-fledged member of the community of free and democratic nations of the world. This concept is none more true that...

Ukraine marks fifth anniversary of revolution with more questions than answers

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In the half-decade that has passed since the start of Ukraine’s EuroMaidan Revolution, few who were in Kiev during the three-month-long uprising could have imagined the upheavals that the country has had to endure...

Opinion: Western officials betray both their own taxpayers and the Ukrainian people

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There’s a nauseating feeling of déjà vu. Under ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, USAID took part in the preparation of tests for the hiring of Ukrainian judges. USAID insisted back then that the tests were entirely fair...

Hungary grants former Macedonia/FYROM PM Gruevski asylum

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The flight of former Macedonia/FYROM Prime Minister Hungary Nikola Gruevski to Hungary took on wider implications as Budapest reportedly granted Gruevski’s asylum request.   In view of the difficult relationship between Budapest and Brussels, the...

FYROM’s nationalist former prime minister on the run

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By far the most interesting development related to the Name Dispute between Greece and Macedonia/FYROM this week was the departure in stealth mode of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski from Skopje and his sudden...

Name Dispute: Work progresses on Prespes Agreement implementation

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With Greece currently distracted by a wide range of political issues and debates, legislators in Skopje are hard at work debating the constitutional amendments proposed by the government of Macedonia/FYROM, as required under the...

Opinion: Europe should stop feeding the dragon of Ukrainian corruption

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A scene in an old Soviet film called To Kill a Dragon sees a knight errant rescue a city from the tyranny of a dragon. The city’s mayor claims victory over the dragon and becomes the next...

Name Dispute: Athens takes a breather

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The political processes in both Greece and Macedonia/FYROM are still adjusting to the surprise victory by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in the October 19 vote in Skopje where his supporters and allies delivered 80...

Name Dispute: Zaev scores stunning victory from failed referendum

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In a late-night vote October 19th, Macedonia/FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev collected the required 80 yes votes, or a 2/3 majority, to approve the first phase of changes to the country’s constitution, a remarkable...

Getting to an Agreement between Serbia and Kosovo

Kosovo has not been ruled by Serbia for nearly twenty years, yet the status of its sovereignty, as well as the territory and borders of both countries, remain mutually and internationally contested. In the past...

Behind the Curtain

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My name is Dr Mohammad Zahoor. I am a British citizen and for almost ten years, I was the benefactor of the Kyiv Post, Ukraine’s most important English language newspaper, very much the benchmark...

Name Dispute: Questions raised over Greek commitment to Prespes Agreement

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Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos displayed to his American interlocutors a total lack of policy coordination within his country’s coalition government when he proposed to replace the Prespes Agreement, designed to resolve the Name...

Name Dispute: Taking stock in Skopje after the disappointing referendum

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Shockwaves continue from the low turnout in the referendum in Macedonia/FYROM, which had been hoped to approve June’s Prespes Agreement settling the Name Dispute between Athens and Skopje. The 37% turnout for the September...

Name Dispute: Referendum results wound two Balkan leaders

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Zero hour has passed in the Name Dispute. Surprisingly low turnout for the September 30 referendum in Macedonia/FYROM to approve June’s Prespes Agreement settling the Name Dispute between Athens and Skopje could well derail the...

Zero hour for Name Dispute

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In the run-up to Macedonia/FYROM’s referendum on settling its three-decade-old Name Dispute with neighbouring Greece, the rival parties involved in the vote made impassioned pitches to their respective constituencies to take whatever actions they...

NATO names Lithuania’s Jukneviciene as Parliamentary Assembly president

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced on September 24 that Lithuania's former defence minister, Rasa Jukneviciene, a member of the conservative party of the Lithuanian Christian Democrats, has succeeded her Italian predecessor Paolo Alli as...

Ukraine’s political standoff

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For years, politicians in Ukraine have been caught in a “Mexican standoff” - a confrontation in which no strategy exists that allows any political party to achieve victory. As a result, the parties have...

Name Dispute: Parade of stars to Skopje continues as referendum approaches

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A wave of important visitors before the September 30 referendum on the Prespes Agreement -- which aims to settle the Name Dispute between Greece and Macedonia/FYROM -- has made Skopje the hottest political travel...

Good Politics, Bad Economics

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Bad economics breeds bad politics. The global financial crisis, and the botched recovery thereafter, put wind in the sails of political extremism. Between 2007 and 2016, support for extremist parties in Europe doubled. France’s National Rally (formerly...

Name Dispute: Leaders line up to support “Yes” vote in September 30 referendum

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A flood of important visitors has hit Skopje, and this is continuing, clearly part of a coordinated work program to “save the referendum” by pro-NATO and pro-EU enlargement leaders. Last week Skopje saw key...

A revived role for the US in Northern Greece requires dynamic action and focus

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As a former US diplomat who served as Consul General in Thessaloniki, it’s impossible not to become a lifelong booster of the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF). This writer for one is impressed with the massive...

WikiLeaks revelations propel Name Dispute issue back to center stage

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The Prespes Agreement - the latest attempt to end the quarter-century-long Name Dispute between Greece and its neighbour FYROM/Macedonia by renaming the latter 'the Republic of North Macedonia' - is back in the international headlines only three...

Europe’s Populist Fifth Column

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European security currently rests essentially on the NATO alliance and the principle of mutual defence, and on cooperation between national intelligence services working to prevent violence against people and national assets. But in an...

The Populist War Against Intelligence

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Despite his seemingly limitless capacity for vindictiveness, it would be a mistake to interpret US President Donald J. Trump’s decision to withdraw the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan as only his...

Czechs and Slovaks mark 50 years since Prague Spring, but politics of memory cast...

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One of the most tragic and bitter episodes in modern European history was marked on August 20 as both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, who were the united entity of Czechoslovakia until 1993, marked...

Hard Lessons from Genoa

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Is our infrastructure safe? In the aftermath of the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, this is the question on everybody’s mind. Of course, we could argue that disasters like this are one-offs,...

The West Must Face Reality in Turkey

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Now that Turkey is at loggerheads with its erstwhile ally, the United States, the country’s currency crisis has morphed into a political problem of the first order. The immediate issue is Turkey’s refusal to...

How Europe Can Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Power

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US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker may have averted a trade war last month, but the challenges confronting the European Union are far from resolved. In today’s increasingly Hobbesian global environment, the...

If Trump Ruled Venice

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Marco Polo, the famous thirteenth-century Venetian merchant, was one of the first Europeans to trade with China. Now imagine that, after a while, the Venetian state became concerned that Polo was purchasing too many...

Move to grant Kosovo visa-free travel reopens contentious EU enlargement debate

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The European Commission's recent statement that Kosovo had fulfilled all of Brussels’ necessary visa liberalisation benchmarks and that the European Parliament and Council should proceed with lifting visa requirements for Kosovars has reopened a...

Name Dispute: A week for summitry and skullduggery

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In the context of the shrill NATO-US debate over President Donald J. Trump’s demands for higher European defence spending, the situation involving the potential entry of Macedonia/FYROM into NATO as its 30th member sometime...

A torrent of accusations and acrimony mark first day of NATO summit

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A  heated verbal exchange broke out between Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu and Germany’s Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen over a decision by the Turkish government to purchase Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft...

Name Dispute: Prespes Agreement reaction destabilises Greek political scene

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In Greece, the furore over the Prespes Agreement that was intended to resolve the Name Dispute between Greece and Macedonia/FYROM continues to grow, and the country is rapidly moving into the full pre-election political...

A lasting agreement?

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After what seemed to be an endless round of contentious talks that ran into the wee hours of Friday morning, European leaders wrapped up their two-day summit in Brussels with a tentative deal on...