Foreign relations

When Leninists overreach

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Ongoing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must...

Bosnia’s authorities draw cautious praise from Brussels after agreeing to form Council of Ministers

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Nearly 10 months after Bosnia and Herzegovina's last round of elections, the leaders of country's three main ethnoreligious groups finally reached an agreement to form a central government on 4 August, news that the...

Ze’s perfect storm

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Volodymyr Zelensky, or “Ze”, as he is called by his supporters, started his entry into the Ukrainian politics earlier this year by impressively winning the presidential election in April. On July 21, the former...

Iran escalates tensions in the Persian Gulf after seizing UK tanker

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In the latest escalation in the Persian Gulf region, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard reportedly captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July, the same day that the Gibraltar government...

Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation and a threat to Europe

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If Europe is serious about combating antisemitism, the Lebanon-based global terror group Hezbollah must be stopped in its tracks. As we marked on 18 July the seventh anniversary of the suicide bombing in Burgas,...

The sky didn’t fall in Ukraine

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What so many Ukrainian voters were afraid of simply did not happen. After being sworn in as president, Volodymyr Zelensky did not attempt to establish closer relations with Russia. Whether he would have liked...

Mogherini says Brussels is not ready to trigger Iran nuclear deal dispute mechanism

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The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has declared that the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, widely known as the Iran nuclear deal, have not detected any significant non-compliance by Tehran...

The name is Ambassador. EU Ambassador.

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It's very cool to have a great twitter handle. Typically, for the European Commission politicians, and civil servants you would expect to find something that combines ones name with the letters EU. Or maybe...

EU and Kazakhstan advance new Central Asian strategy

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The EU’s High Representative for foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, presented the new European Union Strategy for Central Asia during the 15th EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on 7 July where Kazakhstan’s...

Greater Eurasia: moving towards a common future

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A major event important not only for Kazakhstan, but for all European and Asian countries will take place in our capital this autumn. On 23-24 September, the city of Nur-Sultan will host the Fourth...

Europe can help restore Ukraine’s trust after PACE decision

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The recent decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – PACE – to return the Russian delegation to full parliamentary assembly activities sparked an extremely negative reaction from the majority of...

Istanbul & Brexit

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The financial and cultural heart of Turkey, Istanbul, awaits an interesting few years of change. On Sunday, Ekrem Imamoglu, the candidate for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) was elected mayor of Istanbul. This was...

EU-Morocco further align policies with joint declaration

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EU and Morocco appeared determined to provide “new impetus to their strategic, multidimensional, and privileged relationship" at last Thursday’s Association Council in Brussels. After the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini...

Making peace with violence and a disinformation machine

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On 24 June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) reinstalled Russia’s voting rights in the institution charged with upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The rights were suspended...

EU eyeing possible sanctions on Turkey over ‘illegal drilling’ in East Med

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EU leaders condemned late on 20 June “Turkey's continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea,” saying the European Union would now consider what measures to take in response, a move...

What Putin’s new citizenship initiative would mean for Ukraine

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Since the recent presidential elections ended in a landslide victory for Volodymyr Zelensky some signs of a possible political and economic revival have been noticed in Ukraine. The very electoral victory of the Zelensky...

EU to examine ‘appropriate’ measures against Turkey and companies

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The European Union is looking into taking what it calls “appropriate” measures against Turkey amid rising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean continue to mount as a result of the Turkish government's refusal to halt their gas drilling activities in...

EU considers freezing Customs Union negotiations with Turkey

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Amid growing concerns about the aggressive offshore drilling activities that are currently being carried out near the Cypriot coast by the Turkish government, the European Union is mulling putting Ankara's accession chapters under discussion ahead of the European Council...

Russian disinformation campaign targeted voters during EU elections

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The European Commission revealed that Russian sources attempted to suppress turnout and influence voters during last month’s EU elections that employed a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russia that covered a broad range...

It’s high time for Plahotniuc to leave the scene

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From time to time the small, poor country of Moldova gets into the news headlines. So it was in 2009 when the parliament and presidency were burned in, up to now, unclear circumstances. Then...

Zelensky must choose battles wisely to avoid a political Mexican Standoff

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One evening in the hot summer of 2015 anyone who was someone in the political circles in Kyiv gathered at the residence of Simon Smith, the UK ambassador, as he was moving to his...

Enlargement, going back to square one

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North Macedonia and Albania are inexorably tied by the delay in their long course to join Europe, yet for different reasons. Albania has the perpetual problem of narcotics production that cannot be overcome unless Tirana...

Kazakhs say it is time for closer ties with EU

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BRUSSELS - Following the resignation of Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev last March, the Central Asian republic will hold early elections on 9 June, to remove any ambiguity about the course of the country...

Kosovo-Serbia relations again disrupted

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Raids by Kosovo police on 28 May in a large anti-corruption operation triggered a serious deterioration of already-strained Kosovo-Serbia relations in the following days, prompting significant engagement on the part of European and UN...

Zelensky restores Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship

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Just over a week after being inaugurated as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky issued an executive order on Tuesday that overturned a July 2017 decree by his successor, Petro Poroshenko, that illegally stripped Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili...

Taliban’s treatment of prisoners worries UN mission in Afghanistan

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After face-to-face interviews with 13 detainees who were freed from a Taliban detention facility by Afghan special forces troops on 25 April, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan expressed deep concerns that the Islamist insurgent...

NATO and Israel are right to deepen ties

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Israel is fast becoming NATO’s premier partner country. As the alliance’s Mediterranean Dialogue program turns 25 this year, enlisting Jerusalem’s help to tackle today’s security challenges is still a no-brainer: NATO can tap into over seven decades...

The challenge of being an ambassador to Ukraine

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Among the biggest challenges for foreign diplomats is an election year in Ukraine. The unpredictability that never wanes, even after the results are in, offers very fertile ground for developing professional skills of the...

The meaning of Ukraine’s presidential election

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It would be both disingenuous and inaccurate to interpret the election simply as a protest vote. The presidential election in Ukraine was a “change” election in the strictest sense of its democratic meaning. This must...

German liberal party’s peace proposal for Ukraine looks for new path forward

According to the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI), which measures the relative position of nations' peacefulness, Ukraine is the lowest-ranked European country. The GPI ranks it as 152 out of 163 independent states, followed by Syria,...

Mogherini and Pompeo discuss tensions with Iran

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The High Representative of Foreign Policy of the EU, Amid rising tensions in the Persian Gulf over increasingly harsh rhetoric from both the US and Iran over the latter's continued aggressive activities in the Middle...

US sanctions take toll on Iran as EU comes closer to backing Washington

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The US’ economic sanctions appear to be taking a toll on Iran as an increasing number of EU nations are beginning to comply with Washington’s policy of economically isolating the Islamic Republic in an...

Europe and India could form a game-changing partnership

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On the sidelines of last week’s European Business Summit, New Europe’s Irene Kostaki sat down with Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, President, Global Corporate Affairs of Indian conglomerate Tata Sons, to talk Europe, the future of...

EU’s Tusk warns Turkey over gas drilling as Cyprus demands sanctions

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The European Union has warned Turkey about drilling off the coast of EU-member Cyprus as several leaders voiced support for sanctions against Turkish companies. As tension escalates in the Mediterranean, the EU-27 at the Sibiu Summit in Romania on...

North Macedonia’s presidential election results calm West’s worries

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North Macedonia’s presidential runoff election on 5 May produced results guaranteed to calm fraying nerves in Athens, Washington, Brussels, Paris, and Berlin as the country’s new president will be Stevo Pendarovski, who was backed...

Italy seeks boost in exports through China agreement

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After the visit to China by Italian Prime Minister Antonio Conte for the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Undersecretary of State for Economic Development Michele Geraci held the second meeting of the...

The Road to Sibiu

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A low-key agenda is expected as EU diplomats head to Sibiu, Romania for a Summit that will set Brexit aside for an agenda that focuses on the future of the bloc just two weeks...