Tag Archive for Europe

The Geneva Agreement – On Paper And On the Ground

Maidan Square file photo

(RFE/RL – April 18, 2014) Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the European Union have reached an agreement in Geneva on a series of steps to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine. We take a look at the key points in the agreement and the steps taken — or not taken — thus far to implement them.

Betrayal of Ukraine in Geneva ‘Worse than Munich,’ Illarionov Says

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 18, 2014) What the US, the EU and Ukraine itself agreed to in Geneva is “worse than Munich” because Kyiv joined in giving international sanction to actions of the Russian aggressor and opening the way for the transformation of the internal arrangements of Ukraine regardless of

RIA Novosti: Moscow Dismisses Russia’s Alleged Threats to Invade Ukraine, Europe as Nonsense

File Photo of Russian Tanks in Military Parade

MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) – Statements that Russia allegedly threatens Ukraine and Europe with a military invasion are “nonsense,” Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told Rossiya24 TV channel Wednesday. “All the horror stories that Russia will take over Ukraine today and tomorrow the Russian troops will reach the English Channel, Bordeaux and the Cote

Russia Beyond the Headlines: Why giving up Russian gas is not an option for the EU

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Tatyana Zykova, special to RBTH - April 10, 2014) Despite talk in Europe of reducing dependence on Russian fuel and promises of help from the U.S., for the foreseeable future Russia remains the only country that can supply the EU with an increasing supply of cheap gas. The European

Culture Ministry Affirms ‘Russia is not Europe’

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – April 8, 2014) A state commission working on a much-discussed report titled “Foundations of State Cultural Politics” will release their findings in two weeks, presidential advisor Vladimir Tolstoi announced last week, adding that the basic formula of the report could be summarized as “Russia is not

Over half of Ukrainians aspire to sign EU-Ukraine Association Agreement – poll

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KYIV. April 8 (Interfax) – Most Ukrainian citizens would like the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including establishing a free trade zone, to be signed as quickly as possible but stances as to when this should be done differ. According to the poll held by the Rating sociological group, the results of which Interfax obtained on Tuesday,

Ukraine Says Russian Gas Transit to Europe Under Threat

Russian Gas Facility file photo

BRUSSELS, April 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s set price on gas for Ukraine is unfairly high and is creating a threat of transiting Russian gas to Europe, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Tuesday. “In this situation, the threat of cutting gas deliveries to Ukraine arises, as well as the threat of cutting transit gas

Gas Replaces Weapons in New Russia-West Standoff

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Panin – April 8, 2014) As the worst standoff since the Cold War emerges, energy and economic diplomacy are the tools the West applies to contain Russia, expecting them to be more effective than military confrontation. Business executives and energy industry analysts, however, were doubtful that these tools had

RIA Novosti: EU Could Lose 1 Trillion Euros From Further Sanctions Against Moscow – Russian Official

Kremlin and Moscow Environs Aerial View

MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) – EU financial losses if broad economic sanctions are imposed against Russia could reach a trillion euros, according to Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “It’s an open question who would sustain greater losses from the sanctions,” Glazyev told the Russian RT TV channel in an interview

RIA Novosti: Opinion: Council of Europe Parliament Softening Stance on Crimean Reunification

File Photo of Council of Europe Headquarters Building with Flags in Front

MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) seems to be gradually softening its stance toward Crimea’s reunification with Russia, the head of the Russian delegation to the assembly told journalists Friday. “There’s been a certain shift in the attitudes of political groups. Some national delegations feel there’s

RIA Novosti: Europe Lacks Realistic Alternative to Russian Energy Supplies – Analyst

Gas Flame file photo

MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s natural gas supplies to the European Union have no practical alternative, a senior energy analyst at the Colorado-based IHS company said Thusday. “The EU’s reliance on Russia to meet approximately 30 percent of its total gas demand means that there is no realistic alternative to European dependence on

Interfax: Europe can’t easily turn back on Russian energy resources – minister

Russian Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW. April 4 (Interfax) – It would be difficult for Europe to give up Russian energy resources, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with TV channel Rossiya 24. He recalled that statements have been made about reducing the dependence on Russia in future. “And such work is being done in the European Union,

The Hague Declaration

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 24, 2014) 1. We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission met in The Hague to reaffirm our support for

From Estonia to Azerbaijan: American Strategy After Ukraine

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama Seated Before Russian and U.S. Flags

(Stratfor.com – Geopolitical Weekly – George Friedman – Tuesday, March 25, 2014 – 03:08) As I discussed last week, the fundamental problem that Ukraine poses for Russia, beyond a long-term geographical threat, is a crisis in internal legitimacy. Russian President Vladimir Putin has spent his time in power rebuilding the authority of the Russian state within

Ukraine-EU Pact Signals Step Towards NATO – Russian Ministry Source

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MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) – The signing of a political pact between Ukraine and the European Union is a hasty step which points to the prospect of closer military ties between Kiev and NATO, a Russian foreign ministry source said Monday. “The political provisions of the association deal pave the way for further entrenchment

Russia says close to agreement on OSCE monitors for Ukraine

File Photo of OSCE Banners

Reuters reports on statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe is close to reaching an arrangement to send observers to Ukraine: ‘We have already practically agreed a draft decision’ on an observer mission, Lavrov told President Vladimir Putin in televised remarks, adding that observers would be

Mistakes in some arguments given for Russia’s action [re: Ukraine]

Maidan Square file photo

Subject:  Mistakes in some arguments given for Russia’s action Date:     Fri, 14 Mar 2014 From:   Ira Straus IRASTRAUS@aol.com Mistakes in some arguments given for Russia’s action By Ira Straus U.S. Coordinator Committee on Eastern Europe and Russia in NATO A. The imagined NATO threat It is argued that the EU association agreement was a step

Statement of G-7 Leaders on Ukraine

File Photo of G8 Heads of State Outdoors in 2013

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – For Immediate Release – March 12, 2014) We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, call on the Russian Federation to cease all efforts to

UKRAINE ONLINE POLL: What would be Ukraine’s best course to follow?

Maidan Square file photo

[poll originally posted in late 2013] We would like to hear your opinion about unfolding events in Ukraine and welcome your participation in the following poll. Visitors can vote for up to three choices, and generally can vote once each day.  There also as an option to “fill in the blank.” After you have made

Gazprom Captures Largest-Ever Share of European Gas Market

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 19, 2014) State-owned gas giant Gazprom captured its largest-ever share of the European and Turkish gas market last year, supplying 30 percent of the continent’s needs, as compared to 26 percent in 2012. The Russian export monopoly sent 162.7 billion cubic meters of gas westward in 2013, and beat

Report on EU Corruption Could Spur Russian Recrimination

Cropped File Photo of Two Men in Business Suits Shaking Hands and Passing Cash

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – February 5, 2014) A report declaring that not a single member of the European Union is corruption-free will likely be taken as political vindication in Russia, a representative from Transparency International Russia said. The report, which was released by the European Commission on Monday and examined corruption

What integration with the EU means for Putin

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Stanislav Tkachenko, special to RBTH – February 4, 2014) The Russian president’s proposal to establish a free trade zone between the EU, Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus – made at the recent EU-Russia summit – signals a major shift in Russian foreign policy. Stanislav Tkachenko is the head of

Interfax: Moscow concerned by EU demand to bring South Stream agreements in line with Third Energy Package – Lavrov

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

(Interfax – February 3, 2014) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has expressed concern over statements by European Union representatives that inter-governmental agreements between Russia and South Stream project participants should be brought in line with the requirements of the Third Energy Package. “We are bewildered and concerned by Brussels’ statements about the need to review

No decisions, but progress at EU-Russia summit

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Nikolay Surkov, RBTH – January 29, 2014) Two sides move towards new partnership agreement despite low expectations for recent meeting. Despite pessimistic forecasts going into the latest EU-Russia summit, the two sides were able to discuss their differences, and demonstrated their willingness to pursue further dialogue on key

TRANSCRIPT: [Putin at] Russia-EU Summit

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(Kremlin.ru – January 28, 2014) Vladimir Putin took part in the Russia-EU summit meeting. The Russian President had a private meeting with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. The meeting was at the EU’s initiative. The meeting continued in a working lunch format with participation by the delegations’

PACE Threatens European Magnitsky Act

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Matthew Bodner – January 29, 2014) The Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe, or PACE, voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to approve a resolution critical of Russia for its handling of the investigation into the death of Sergei Magnitsky, over the fierce objections of Russian lawmakers present for the vote.

EU, Russia need frank discussion of European, Eurasian integration – Ushakov

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MOSCOW. Jan 24 (Interfax) – There has been no progress in the forming of the four common spaces of cooperation between Russia and the European and the two sides should discuss how to match the European and Eurasian integration processes, officials in Moscow said. “We believe there is a great need for a frank, substantial

Interfax: Russia-EU summit may become a “suitable moment” for progress on visas – Russian envoy

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BRUSSELS. Jan 14 (Interfax) – A Russia-European Union summit, due to open in Brussels on January 28, could be a “suitable moment” to sign an agreement to further simplify visa rules, while the launch of talks on visa-free travel could send a favorable signal for further promoting the sides’ strategic partnership, Russia’s envoy to the

ECHR Issued 120 Rulings Against Russia in 2013

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 8, 2014) The European Court for Human Rights last year made 120 rulings against human rights violations by Russian authorities, the Justice Ministry’s press service said Tuesday. “As of Dec. 20, 2013 the European Court for Human Rights had made 120 rulings, in which Russian authorities were found guilty

Belarusians Want to Join EU Rather than Russia, Poll Shows

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(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 3, 2013) Ukrainians and Moldovans are not the only nations between Moscow and the European Union who would prefer to be part of the EU than any Moscow-dominated entity and certainly don’t want their country to be absorbed by the Russian Federation.  A new poll shows

Can European socialism be good to Russia?

Map of Russia

(Pravda.ru – Nadezhda Alekseeva) Europe is moaning under the strong influx of immigrants, and the floodgates were opened by European socialists. A poisonous bite of suicidal tolerance has dulled the natural instinct of self-preservation of the European nations. In recent years, Euro-socialism has been trying to take root on the Russian soil, so far without

Interfax: Russian foreign minister on Ukraine’s place in Europe and Eurasia

Sergei Lavrov file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, December 21, 2013) Russia would like to see Ukraine participating in Eurasian integrational processes and the agreements between Russia and Ukraine of 17 December confirm a shared desire for constructive work, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. “Eurasian integrational structures are open to other partners in the CIS as well. Of

RIA Novosti: Russia Condemns Pressure on Ukraine to Turn Towards Europe

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MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) ­ Russia is surprised by blatant attempts to pressure Ukraine into signing an association agreement with the European Union, Russia’s foreign minister said Wednesday. Sergei Lavrov said that pressure was continuing despite Kiev’s clear choice to develop closer ties with Moscow. He spoke a day after President Vladimir Putin agreed

Interfax: SUMMARY: Gazprom slashes gas price for Ukraine by third, looks at new model of relations

File Photo of Blue Flame from Natural Gas

MOSCOW. Dec 18 (Interfax) – Russia’s Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) and Naftogaz Ukraine, in the presence of the two countries’ presidents on Tuesday, signed addenda to January 19, 2009 contracts on the purchase-sale, delivery and transshipment of natural gas for 2009-2019. Discount President Vladimir Putin said after the signing that the documents would enable Gazprom to

A divided Ukraine: Between Russia and the EU

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – December 16, 2013) The crisis over the country’s future intensifies as protesters backing closer ties with Europe bring the barricades back to Kiev’s Maidan Square. Opinion in Ukraine has split in two over whether the country should sign an Association Agreement offering

Pro-government rally in Kyiv highlights division in Ukraine

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Harriet Salem in Kyiv – December 17, 2013) “I am here to support stability, I am here for the future of Ukraine, for my grandchildren,” Anna Egorovna told bne standing in Mariinsky Park. Eregorovna was one of the tens of thousand supporters that arrived in Kyiv over the weekend

Yanukovych backed into corner as EU suspends talks

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – KYIV BLOG – December 16, 2013) Some 100,000 protestors rallied on Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in central Kyiv for the third Sunday in a row this weekend, maintaining the pressure on the increasingly embattled President Viktor Yanukovych. They were treated to a speech by US Senator John McCain and

Interfax: Ukraine chooses European integration – Prime Minister Azarov

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KYIV. Dec 16 (Interfax) – Ukraine has made a final choice in its foreign policy vector – integration with Europe, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said. “As we are told, the door to the European Union is open for us, same as the door of the Customs Union. That is very good, because we have

Ukraine a land of two halves as Euromaidan moves into third week

Maidan Square file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – December 16, 2013) As mass anti-government and pro-EU protests move into their third week in Ukraine, vox pop and opinion polls show the continued high motivation of protestors, but also the stubborn resistance of the east-west geographical fault line that shapes Ukrainian politics. December

Ukraine’s choices

Maidan Square file photo

(opendemocracy.net – December 9, 2013 – David Marples) David Marples is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta, Canada. Author of 13 books, he is also President of the North American Association for Belarusian Studies. The current conflict in Ukraine tends to cast the country’s future choices in terms

Interfax: Ukraine opposition leaders urge support from West for pro-EU movement

Monument in Ukraine

KYIV. Dec 6 (Interfax) – Ukrainian opposition leaders – Vitali Klitschko of the UDAR party, Arseny Yatsenyuk of Batkivshchyna (Fatherland), and Oleh Tyahnybok of Svoboda (Freedom) – have met with the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, Victoria Nuland. “We call upon the leaders of the European Union and the United

RIA Novosti: Medvedev Denies Russia Pressured Ukraine to Abandon EU Deal

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MOSCOW, December 6 (RIA Novosti) ­ Ukraine decided independently to abandon a long-anticipated trade deal with the European Union, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday, denying that Moscow pressured its neighbor into changing direction. “They realized that at the moment, they’re not ready for this,” he said in a televised interview on Russia’s state TV

The Bolotnaya Maydan

Monument in Ukraine

(RFE/RL – rferl.org –Brian Whitmore – December 5, 2013) The latest threat to Vladimir Putin’s autocratic rule may be coming not from the Russian opposition but from the Ukrainian street. As tens of thousands continue to protest in Kyiv against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to scuttle a pact with the European Union in favor

Business New Europe: Spectre of revolution haunts Ukraine

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Stack in Kyiv – December 3, 2013) Ten years on from the Orange Revolution that rolled back a rigged election, Ukraine again appears in the throes of revolution, after mass protests in Kyiv against the government’s failure to sign a deal for closer ties with the EU and

Ukraine does a U-turn on Europe

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Gevorg Mirzayan, special to RBTH – December 2, 2013) Yanukovych declines a deal with the EU as economic realities hit home. President Viktor Yanukovych’s last-minute rejection of a planned Association Agreement with the European Union was unexpected and shocking for most of Ukraine’s public, who are imbued with

Orthodox countries joining EU should not change values – Russian church

Patriarch Kirill file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, November 28, 2013) The Moscow Patriarchate has called on Orthodox countries, including Russia, not to allow EU influence to change them as they conduct dialogue, but to suggest the EU itself change. “Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria, as members of a strong and self-sufficient civilization, have a right, when

EU deal remains Ukraine’s priority, but more time needed – president

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(Interfax – November 29, 2013) The signing of an association agreement with the EU remains Ukraine’s priority, President Viktor Yanukovych has said. The Interfax-Ukraine news agency quoted him at 1122 gmt on 29 November as telling its correspondent following the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius: “This document is a priority. However, there remain very

Moscow Times: Economic Logic Pushed Ukraine to Russia

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anatoly Medetsky – November 29, 2013) For Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, it was not pressure from Russia that provoked Ukraine’s flip-flop on the association deal with the European Union. Azarov has said he bowed to the strong sentiment within the country for making up with Moscow, as exports to

Interfax: Russian MP: Eastern Partnership policy of amputation of post-Soviet states

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(Interfax – November 27, 2013) Pro-Kremlin United Russia MP Leonid Slutskiy has accused the EU of conducting a policy of “amputation” of post-Soviet countries from Russia-led alliances. Privately-owned Interfax news agency quoted the chairman of the State Duma committee for CIS affairs and Eurasian integration saying in reference to the EU’s Eastern Partnership policy, specifically

Interfax: Iran deal won’t change European missile shield plan – NATO source

Mssile Defense Control Room

BRUSSELS,. Nov 26 (Interfax) – NATO does not see reasons to review the European missile shield plan in connection with the Iran nuclear program deal. NATO’s missile defense project is not intended to provide defense from a concrete country, a source in the NATO headquarters told Interfax in Brussels. What is meant here is defense

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