Poland and Hungary are two Central European states, who thanks to their similar geopolitical positions and historic experiences have approximately the same vision about several matters from security policy, through economy to European politics. One of these are the Western Balkan policies and within that the recognition and support of the statehood of Kosovo. Or is it?read more
Yang Jiechi, a Member of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, met with Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, in Zurich, Switzerland on October 6. The summit was widely regarded as successful. Chinese experts note that bilateral relations are improving, but are also aware of the long-standing rivalry between the two countries.
In recent weeks, China has been facing a severe electricity shortage, which affected millions of households and manufacturing companies. The problem is particularly grave in the northeastern provinces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
Moldova is now on the verge of a gas crisis after Russia imposed exorbitant conditions for gas supplies. Gazprom seeks to repeat the same scenario in Romania. In addition, Russia is waging an information campaign involving ambassadors and President Putin himself to force the EU, now in the middle of an energy crisis, into concessions to Gazprom, and to be able to launch the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. At the same time, Moscow no longer hides that halting gas transit through Ukraine is just a matter of time.
Relations between the governments of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) have been, from a geopolitical standpoint, one of the hotspots in the Asia-Pacific region since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. The administration of the incumbent President of the PRC Xi Jinping is emphasizing the special role of the island in Chinese policy and strategy.
On September 29, 2021, Fumio Kishida won the vote for the leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He took office as the country’s Prime Minister on October 4. Chinese media note that he is known for a moderate stance, but during the election campaign he made accusations against China. Nevertheless, a change in Beijing’s foreign policy to an even more confrontational one should not be expected.
Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev accused Washington of meddling in the recent State Duma elections and fueling tensions between Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia. For his part, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said there was a risk that U.S.-Russian relations could worsen, a comment he made during the visit of U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland to Moscow. This was the first top-level U.S.-Russia meeting since a summit in Geneva where the presidents of the United States and Russia held talks.
Over 2.5 million people have lost their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic that triggered the worst economic crisis since the end of World War II. The cumulative loss in output relative to the pre-pandemic projected path will grow from $11 trillion over between 2020 and 2021 and next to $28 trillion until 2025. The total toll could be even higher if to acknowledge the hidden victims of COVID-19. The mass-scale losses forced the world’s mightiest countries, businesses, and research centers to make unprecedented efforts to develop an effective vaccine. As infection outbreaks tended to recur, bringing back restrictive measures, both people and officials realized that it was best to reach herd immunity with widespread vaccination campaigns.
The following article chronologically presents the trips abroad taken by Józef Piłsudski. The considerations concern the period of the partitions and the Second Republic of Poland. As a statesman, the prime minister and co-creator of independent Poland, he was bestowed with the highest honour by the authorities of different countries. According to the memoirs written in the epoch, Piłsudski seemed to like traveling and visiting places of interest.
The European Microstates: The Prospect of EU Membership in the Context of Association Agreement Negotiations
Currently, Malta is the smallest EU member state – both in terms of size and population. However, it may soon be replaced by another, even smaller one, since a number of countries in Western Europe have been willing to collaborate with the European Communities already for several decades now. Apart from Switzerland, such enclaves include Andorra, situated between Spain and France; Monaco, located on the French Riviera; Liechtenstein, established between Switzerland and Austria; and two territories in Italy – the Vatican City State and San Marino. Each of the relations between these microstates and the EU is different. It is likely that three of them would be revised soon.
The past two years appear to have brought a breakthrough in the relations between the European Union and the Western Balkans. Countries such as Albania and North Macedonia followed a policy in line with EU guidelines to start accession negotiations. Serbia and Kosovo are now in talks to achieve a future peace agreement which would allow them to break the deadlock with the EU. Securing a peace deal with Kosovo will pave Serbia’s way for EU accession talks while Kosovo could apply for a status of a candidate country.
The brutal suppression of the protests in support of Alexei Navalny and his earlier arrest have symbolically begun a new chapter in the history of Putin’s Russia. Only the use of force and repression allow the regime to continue its existence. As a result of last year’s events, Vladimir Putin realized that he will not gain the support of the majority of Russians again. This is the end of democracy in Russia, even the sham one, but also the beginning of the end of Putin’s rule.
Joe Biden’s assumption of the US presidency following the outgoing President Donald Trump’s leadership heralds changes in the policy of the largest Western power. This article aims to analyze the impact of the changing of the guard in Washington on the European Union and its geopolitical, economic, and political consequences. America would like to mobilize European allies to a common containment of China, and will also refer to collective transatlantic values to a greater extent. In the latter case, the influence of the new administration on integration processes may turn out to be particularly pernicious.
Central Europe in 2021: The 30th Anniversary of the Visegrad Group. The Year of Opportunities and Challenges
At first glance, the year 2021 may seem very promising for Central European countries, many of which came through the COVID-19 pandemic with fewer losses than most Western European states – especially taking into account their unemployment rate or GDP decline. What is more, the previous year ended with a relatively strong signal of the further development of the Three Seas Initiative (a project of twelve Central European countries located along the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea, and the Black Sea), strengthening its intergovernmental and executive qualities. On top of that, the new members’ contributions in the region enlarged the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund (TSIIF), and the US announced its first financial input.
The opening of a new chapter and line of cooperation in Poland’s relations with the United States right after the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidency is what now regulates the foreign agenda of Poland and Europe. 2021 is not only the year of the evident challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic but also of two anniversaries – of the Weimar Triangle and the Visegrad Group. All this will shape the plans of individual countries towards the new Biden administration. In our interview, Paweł Soloch, Head of the National Security Bureau, speaks about relations with the US and security challenges.
The fate of the Nord Stream 2 project is doubtful, and it is gradually becoming a litmus test of relations between the US and Germany.
Mass protests in Belarus, the smoldering Russo-Ukrainian war, erosion of the power system in Russia, the war between two Eastern Partnership countries – Azerbaijan and Armenia, the frozen conflict in Transnistria, the evolving situation in Moldova, the meandering of Turkey’s policy towards Russia, the USA, NATO and the EU, the election-related political crisis in the US, and the yet unknown vectors of the foreign policy of Joe Biden’s administration, the third crisis in a row in the European Union – after this in the Eurozone, (2008–13) and those related to immigration (2015–16), and currently to the COVID-19 pandemic (2020–2021), the political twists and turns it is facing in connection with the elections in the Netherlands (March 17, 2021) and in the three largest EU member states: Germany (September 26, 2021), France, and Italy (2022), as well as possible early elections in the fourth largest EU country, Spain, torn by all the EU crises and Catalan separatism… These are examples of factors, which make it necessary for the countries located on the eastern flank of NATO and the European Union to prepare for possible bad scenarios and demonstrate their ability to face them. What potential do they have and what could they do to, if not integrate, then coordinate their potential; to what extent should they do it and in what directions? What structures for such integration do already exist, and to what degree are they advanced? What is the main challenge for these countries, and what constitutes a mere shortcoming in resisting these negative scenarios?
On October 5, 2021, Liliana Śmiech, Director of the Analysis in the Warsaw Institute met with the Polish Ambassador to Germany, Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Przyłębski. The conversation concerned the aftermath of this year’s elections in Germany.
On June 29 and 30, 2021, the Defence24Day x SOFAST conference was held, the media partner of which was the Warsaw Institute. Among the invited speakers there were, among others Mariusz Błaszczak Polish Minister of National Defense, Paweł Soloch Head of the National Security Bureau, Wojciech Skurkiewicz Secretary of State in the Ministry of National Defense and the Polish Ambassador to NATO Headquarters Tomasz Szatkowski.
The risk of a civil war in Afghanistan (like in Syria) and over 7 million new refugees are a real danger, as Ahmad Farid Danesh Akrami suggested in an interview with Tomasz Kijewski, president of the Warsaw Institute. A long-term plan to move away from Western forces allowed the Taliban to build an appropriate marketing narrative and strengthen public support for the group, said Ahmad Farid Danesh Akrami.
JOINT STATEMENT BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS ON THE CALL TO STOP THE NORD STREAM 2 PIPELINE
On the initiative of the Warsaw Institute, representatives of over 20 non-governmental organizations from Europe and the United States issued a statement calling for the stoppage of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project. Nord Stream 2 is a dangerous and short-sighted project that puts the economic interests of several minority stakeholders ahead of long-term security in Europe and transatlantic relations. This unnecessary pipeline sows discord in Europe, strengthens Russia’s control of Europe’s energy supplies, and undermines collective efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region.
Poland and Hungary are two Central European states, who thanks to their similar geopolitical positions and historic experiences have approximately the same vision about several matters from security policy, through economy to European politics. One of these are the Western Balkan policies and within that the recognition and support of the statehood of Kosovo. Or is it?
The first version of this report was published in early April 2020, during the early period of the COVID-19 pandemic and after the „phase one“ deal was signed. The situation worldwide and U.S.-China ties have both gained momentum since the report was first released, to which added up the intense presidential campaign in the United States and the worsening recession across the globe.
Russian Interference in the U.S. Presidential Elections in 2016 and 2020 as an Attempt to Implement a Revolution-like Information Warfare Scheme
Information warfare is tantamount to active measures. While adapting Western theories and terminology, Russians make assumptions aligned with their domestic needs. The whole procedure is designed to conceal methods and tools Soviet spy agencies had brushed up for decades, as confirmed by the authors of the study drafted under the auspices of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.
Elections are when candidates compete with each other and, in consequence, as some win power, others lose it and turn into opposition. Delegating power in this manner exerts a direct influence on state policy both at home and abroad. Thus through foreign electoral interventions, it is possible to win a real influence on the policy of countries, a tool for advancing geopolitical interests of a third state.