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Tag Archive for Europe

Russia’s Increasing Alienation from West ‘Only Partially’ Result of Putin’s Actions, Bunin and Makarkin Say

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

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 19, 2014) Many in Moscow and the West believe that Vladimir Putin bears complete responsibility for the breakdown in relations between Russia, on the one hand, and Europe and the United States, on the other, and thus they believe that if he changes course or is

Russia’s Cities Becoming Less Moscow- and Russia-Centric, New Studies Find

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, December 13, 2014) Two studies about how residents of Russia’s cities feel about where they live and identify themselves suggest that the residents of Russian cities away from the core of the country are ever less focused on Moscow as the center of their lives and identify

Interfax: Medvedev: Russia is part of Europe but also eyeing Asia

Eurasia Map

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has disagreed with the opinion that Russia is not part of European civilization. “There is no doubt that Russia is part of Europe and European civilization and there is nothing to add here. I have always said so and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has said so

End Of South Stream: Winners & Losers

Black Sea Satellite Photo file image

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Daisy Sindelar – December 02, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin rarely makes an uncalculated gesture or concedes defeat. So his announcement on December 1 that Russian energy giant Gazprom was pulling out of plans to build the South Stream natural gas pipeline to southeastern Europe took many by surprise. Russia had

Interfax: Russia’s decision not to build South Stream increases Ukrainian gas transport system’s role – Ukrainian minister

Gas Flame file photo

(Interfax – December 3, 2014) The Ukrainian gas transport system’s role has grown with Russia’s decision to stop the construction of the South Stream pipeline, says Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yury Prodan. “Surely, if there is no South Stream, our gas transport system’s role is increasing,” Prodan told journalists in Kiev on Tuesday.

Interfax: Point of no return in Russia-NATO relations has not been passed – Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(Interfax – December 1, 2014) Russia does not believe the point of no return has been passed in its relations with NATO and is ready to work with the alliance, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “The point of no return has not been passed. I think it’s in the interests of both sides not to

Far-Right Europe Has a Crush on Moscow

Europe Map

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber – November 26, 2014) International headlines have been rife with speculation about Russia’s ties to Europe’s far right in recent days, since news broke that France’s right-wing National Front party had borrowed 9 million euros ($11.2 million) from the Moscow-based First Czech-Russian Bank. Disillusioned with the EU, European

Time for change – G20

G20 Australia 2014

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne/IntelliNews – November 17, 2014) Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of the western world at the weekend at the G20 summit, the first face-to-face meeting of all the world’s leaders since the Russian annexation of Crimea in March. “At the closing of the evening program of

Putin’s Early Departure From G20 Summit a ‘Mistake’

G20 Australia 2014

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – November 17, 2014) President Vladimir Putin made an early departure Sunday from the two-day G20 Summit in Australia, after fielding an abundance of criticism from Western leaders over Russia’s allegedly aggressive role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, a move some observers say will inevitably be interpreted

Interfax: Former Deputy PM Arbuzov: Ukrainians misled about European integration

Ukraine Map and Flag

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 13 (Interfax) – The Ukrainian authorities are adamant to integrate with the European Union at any cost and do not wish to think about possible consequences, according to former Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Arbuzov. “Western regions have always adhered to European integration because they are attracted to EU member countries culturally

RIA Novosti: European Commission Names Main Risks for Russian Economy

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

BRUSSELS, November 4 (RIA Novosti) – The geopolitical tensions over the situation around Ukraine, declining oil prices combined with Russia’s high dependence on energy exports, a weakening ruble and high inflation are among the main risks for the Russian economy, said the European Commission’s (EC) forecast, published Tuesday. “Economic growth in Russia had been on

RIA Novosti: EU-Russia Sanctions: No One Wants to Show They are Giving in First

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) – The anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the European Union will not be scaled back or rescinded in the immediate future. They’re likely to be in effect until mid-March of next year, an EU diplomatic source told RIA Novosti. But as Nigel Kushner, the CEO of W Legal, an international law

NEWSLINK: Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia

Rada File Photo

[“Ukraine leader wins pro-West mandate but wary of Russia” – Reuters – Richard Balmforth and Timothy Heritage – KIEV, Oct 27, 2014]  Reuters covers Ukrainian legislative elections that favored West-leaning Ukrainian Presidenti Petro Poroshenko: Pro-Western parties will dominate Ukraine’s parliament after an election handed President Petro Poroshenko a mandate to end a separatist conflict and

Business New Europe: Ukrainians elect pro-European parliament

Rada File Photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Graham Slack in Kyiv – October 27, 2014) Ukrainians have elected a pro-European parliament in snap elections on October 26, according to preliminary results. The results show pro-European parties headed by President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk respectively are neck-and-neck for first place, with 20% of votes

Playing its own game: Belarus as a peacemaker between Russia and the West

Belarus Map

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexander Iskandaryan, special to RBTH – October 20, 2014) Alexander Iskandaryan is a political scientist and director of the Caucasus Institute in Yerevan, Armenia. The leadership in Minsk seems to be taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine to improve its image Relations between the West and Belarus

RIA Novosti: Ukraine Demands Gas Transit Contract With Europe, Refuses to Guarantee Safe Transit

Gas Flame file photo

KIEV, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine will not guarantee uninterrupted transit of Russian gas to Europe via its territory unless it signs a gas transit contract with EU partners, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Thursday. “Ukraine declares that we are a state that guarantees uninterrupted transit of natural gas, but in order to guarantee

Moscow Times: Ex-Soviet President Gorbachev Says ‘Disunity’ With Russia Weakens Europe

File Photo of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan at Table Signing Documents

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2014) Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev has called on Russia and the West to put an end to their war of words and retaliatory sanctions over Ukraine and discuss a practical solution to the crisis. “How can you conduct a dialogue if you ‘punish’ the people in power

Interfax: Europeans may have ancestors in Siberia – Russian Academy of Sciences

Siberian Natural Scenery, with River, Trees, Hills

(Interfax – October 14, 2014) A comparison of genomes of ancient Europeans and people living in contemporary countries has shown that a Siberian tribe is an ancestor of modern Europeans, said Olga Posukh, senior research fellow of the human molecular genetics laboratory of the Cytology and Genetics Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian branch.

RIA Novosti: “Less Than Half of Europeans Favor EU Involvement in Ukraine Crisis Settlement: Poll”

EU Map

MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Less than half of the population of the United Kingdom, France and Germany think that the European Union should participate in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis while supporting humanitarian aid deliveries and a peacekeeping mission, with some also suggesting the provision of financial aid for the Kiev government,

RIA Novosti: Russia to Develop School Exchange Programs With Europe, Asia: Education Ministry

Eurasia Map

MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is set to develop exchange programs for schoolchildren with countries in Europe and Asia, Deputy Minister of Education Veniamin Kaganov said on Friday. “We have sufficient [student] exchange with many countries. Agreements on cooperation in the educational field are signed with over 70 countries across the world. Quite

NATO’s Eastern Countries Fractured Over Response To Russia

NATO meeting file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Robert Coalson – September 6, 2014) Czech President Milos Zeman sparked a testy exchange with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt this week at the NATO summit in Wales, declaring that Prague had not yet seen “clear proof” of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. “President Zeman should ask his own people,” Bildt retorted. “I don’t

Business New Europe/RIA Novosti: European Commission to level new sanctions on Friday

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

(Business New Europe – bne.eu/RIA Novosti – September 3, 2014) The European Commission suggests limiting Russian state-owned companies’ access to European capital markets, as it prepares to possibly impose new tougher sanctions on Russia at a meeting on Friday, September 5. According to agency statements, the new economic sanctions against Russia, proposed by the European

Moscow’s Food War With West Could Hurt Russia Most

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

(RFE/RL Explainer – rferl.org – Charles Recknagel – August 21, 2014) Moscow’s sweeping ban on food imports is meant as a slap in the face to Western powers for imposing sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine. But the ban is also causing food prices to rise in Russia, which is a major importer of food and has few immediate supply alternatives. Here

Interfax: Russia may theoretically withdraw from ECHR jurisdiction – Putin

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

YALTA. Aug 14 (Interfax) – Russia may theoretically withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) jurisdiction, but the matter is not under consideration now, President Vladimir Putin says. While Putin was meeting with members of State Duma factions in Yalta on Thursday, he was asked whether Russia may withdraw from the ECHR jurisdiction.

Business New Europe: Sanctions “unbearable” for EU, will be cancelled in 3 months

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Danske Bank – August 13, 2014) We analyse the economic and financial impact of the Ukrainian crisis with a special focus on our footprint Nordic markets. We view the situation in Ukraine as far from de-escalating as fighting continues in Donetsk and Lugansk, which we expect to weigh on

RIA Novosti: Between Justice and European Courts’ Rulings on Russia: a Dangerous Gap

European Court of Human Rights Building file photo

(RIA Novosti – Alexander Mercouris – August 9, 2014) There is always going to be a gap between people’s understanding of what is just/unjust and formal court rulings. Law will always strive to catch up with changing societal attitudes to “justice” and “injustice.” But law will always more or less miserably fall behind, unless some

Interfax: Naryshkin hopes Europe will understand risk of unwinding sanctions spiral

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Aug 8 (Interfax) – Russia’s response to the anti-Russian measures taken by the West was forced and further unwinding of the “sanctions spiral” is absurd and dangerous, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said. “As to the measures taken by Russia on the countries that initiated or support anti-Russia sanctions, they are a response

RIA Novosti: Russia Hopes for Positive Outcome of Three-Way Talks on Ukraine’s EU Association – Minister

EU Map

BRUSSELS, July 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia hopes that a three-party ministerial meeting to discuss Ukraine’s association with the European Union will produce a positive outcome, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Friday. Ulyukayev, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klymkin and European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht will meet for three-party talks and bilateral

Concern in Russia as foreign tourist numbers slump

File Photo of Airplane Approaching Runway About to Land

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Kuzmin, special to RBTH – July 3, 2014) Tourist operators in Russia have expressed alarm at a substantial drop in the number of foreign visitors coming to the country in 2014. Key figures in the tourist industry speculate that the fall in tourist numbers may be a

EU Claims Right to Reverse Flow as Russia Protests

Gas Flame file photo

(The Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 4, 2014) EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger on Thursday asserted European companies’ right to sell Russian gas back to Ukraine, flying in the face of warnings from Russian energy giant Gazprom as tensions continue to build over energy policy. Energy companies in the EU have an “absolute right to

Russia’s crack pipe to Europe

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nicholas Watson, Ben Aris, Tim Gosling, Rob Whitford – June 30, 2014) The growing confrontation between Russia and the West ranges across many fronts, none more significant than in an area of rural northwest Bulgaria, where in October workers began welding pipes that will feed a natural gas compressor

Ukraine, EU sign free trade and association deal in Brussels

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – COMMENT: Tim Ash of Standard Chartered – June 27, 2014) This is a landmark agreement for Ukraine, and will be transformational. Poroshenko has indicated that Ukraine aims for EU membership, but this is a long run goal – likely 10-15 years away, if then. Ukraine is realistic, and understanding

RIA Novosti: Candidate Status for Ukraine Difficult to Predict – EU Commissioner

EU Map

BRUSSELS, June 27 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s chances of attaining candidate status for membership in the European Union are hard to predict, Stefan Fuele, EU Commissioner for Enlargement said. “We are not at the stage when we could even speculate about the candidate status. We just signed the association agreement, it needs to be ratified,

RIA Novosti: Ukraine, Moldova to Lose Billions over EU Association Deals

Ukraine Map and Flag

MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine and Moldova’s struggling economies could face multi-billion-dollar losses after signing association agreements with the European Union, Russian experts warn. “Countries that sign this association [deal] agree to fall in line with all EU directives, standards and technical regulations – and this is at their own expense. Even if

RIA Novosti: Russia-EU Gas Transit Through Ukraine Compliant With Contract – Gazprom

Gas Facility file photo

MOSCOW, June 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s EU-bound gas flows through Ukraine comply with transit contraparameters, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Monday. “The transit of Russian gas through Ukraine is flowing according to contract parameters with a volume over the last 24 hours of around 205 million cubic meters,” Kupriyanov said. Earlier on Monday, reports

Why This Russian-Ukrainian ‘Gas War’ Is Different From The Others

Gas Facility file photo

(RFE/RL – Claire Bigg – June 17, 2014) Russia has halted gas supplies to Ukraine — a major escalation of a dispute in which Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom is demanding that Kyiv settle its huge gas debt. But in many ways, what many have dubbed the third “gas war” between the two countries is

Ukrainian ‘Black Hole’ Weighs Heavy On European Business in Russia

File Photo of Cash, Coins, Line Graph

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Delphine d’Amora – June 18, 2014) Politics took front stage at the flagship conference of the Association of European Business, or AEB, on Tuesday, where foreign companies with committed interests in Russia grappled with the economic fallout of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Business as something relatively immune to political

Gazprom’s EU customers not at risk for now

Gas Flame file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.ru – Teneo Intelligence – June 17, 2014) Following the failure of negotiations on natural gas pricing and debt between Russia and Ukraine last weekend, Russian company Gazprom reduced supply volumes to Ukraine, the main transit country for gas delivered to Gazprom’s EU customers. However, Gazprom continues to deliver contracted amounts

RIA Novosti: Europe Ready to Consider Opal Pipeline For Future Gas Supplies – Gazprom

Gas Flame file photo

MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) – If Ukraine disrupts Russian gas transit via its territory, the European Commission is ready to negotiate increased deliveries through the Opal pipeline, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said Monday. “We have discussed this issue with the European Commission. It is now as follows: if we record problems with transit via

Borderlands: The View Beyond Ukraine

Ukraine Map and Flag

(Stratfor.com – George Friedman – June 10, 2014)  Editor’s Note: This is the final installment in George Friedman’s recent series written during his journey from the Baltics, through Central and Eastern Europe and then east to Turkey and Azerbaijan. I traveled between Poland and Azerbaijan during a rare period when the forces that shape Europe appear to

NEWSLINK: Russian gas keeps flowing to Ukraine as deadline passes

Gas Facility file photo

[“Russian gas keeps flowing to Ukraine as deadline passes” – Reuters – June 10, 2014] Reuters reports that Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and the EU have remained stable, despite the passing of a deadline over disputed Ukrainian gas bills.  Meanwhile, the European Commission continues to broker related negotiations. Natural gas supplies to Ukraine and the European Union

NATO cold shoulder over EuroPRO prompts Russia to find answers

Patriot Missile Launch file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Viktor Litovkin, special to RBTH – June 10, 2014) The Russian Ministry of Defense has issued a statement questioning Western policy on the development of a European missile defense system (EuroPRO). Russia’s comments came in response to the refusal by the organizers of the 10th International Conference on

Moscow Times: Putin to Take Center Stage Among Western Leaders in Normandy

World Map Showing Continents, Greens, Browns, Ice

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – June 5, 2014) As diplomatic tensions reached a boiling point over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, President Vladimir Putin was rejected in March as host of the Group of Eight summit in Sochi, while his country was excluded altogether from the group of leading industrialized nations. But Putin’s

Russia getting support from European Commission in Ukraine gas talks – Novak

Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – June 2, 2014) The European Commission has effectively supported the Russian position in the second and third round of talks on payment of Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television. “I consider that the European Commission has behaved quite constructively at these and

Interfax: ODIHR/OSCE praises Ukrainian election, awaits vote counting completion before June 7

File Photo of OSCE Banners

KYIV. May 26 (Interfax) – The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (ODIHR/OSCE) has praised the way the voting process was organized in Ukraine and hopes the vote counting will be completed before June 7. We shall stay here until all the results have been

Medinsky the Media Magnet

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – John Freedman – May 19, 2014) Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky received an honorary fellowship on Thursday a few days late and not quite as planned. The institution doing the honors was Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy, but a planned ceremony in Italy on May 12 was junked at

RIA Novosti: Russia Needs to Rethink EU, NATO Ties – Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov file photo

MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti) – Relations between Russia, the European Union and NATO need to be fundamentally reconsidered, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday. “We will discuss international affairs, including the European situation, on what is happening in the interrelations between Russia and the EU, what is happening in the NATO-Russia Council in

Gazprom Sees Little Risk Of Disruption To European Energy Supply

Gas Facility file photo

(Oilprice.com – Daniel J. Graeber – May 14, 2014) Russian gas monopoly Gazprom says that despite the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine, the risk to disruption of European energy supplies is “insignificant” because demand is expected to be low during the spring and summer months. In its quarterly report, the company said, “At the moment due

RIA Novosti: EU Embargo on Russian Gas Would be Catastrophic for Eastern Europe – Nexant

Gas Flame file photo

WASHINGTON, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – A complete European embargo on Russian gas imports would lead to an energy catastrophe in eastern European countries, an expert from San-Francisco based Nexant told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. Bulgaria, Macedonia, Slovakia, Finland, Bosnia and Herzegovina could be completely cut off by Western countries if they no longer serve

Why The Russia-Ukraine Gas Dispute Is Making Europe Worried

Gas Flame file photo

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Charles Recknagel – May 7, 2014) The European Union gets about one-third of its natural gas from Russia, and about half of that gas arrives in Europe via pipelines passing through Ukraine. Moscow is threatening to cut off natural-gas deliveries to Ukraine unless Kyiv promptly pays its outstanding bills. And that means the EU could

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