The U.S. Congress is currently working on the adoption of the Georgia Support Act, a piece of legislation establishing additional support mechanisms for the authorities in Tbilisi.
Gone are the days when Communist China asked Joseph Stalin for help. It is even difficult to talk about an equal partnership between Moscow and Beijing.
At the General Affairs Council meeting on October 15, 2019, in Luxembourg, an unfavorable decision was delivered as for the opening of accession negotiations with the two Western Balkan countries: Albania and North Macedonia.
Codenamed Operation Peace Spring, the Turkish offensive into Syria is likely to shift the balance of power in Syria while deteriorating Ankara’s relations with the West.
The Donald Trump administration has blacklisted China’s COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) and its affiliated unit COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman & Ship Management. And though U.S. punitive measures failed to cover the whole company –– known worldwide as one of the biggest container ship owners –– they have yet caused significant market turmoil while, quite unexpectedly, striking a blow to a Russian LNG venture.
80 percent of Poland’s electricity comes from coal. Along with the rocketing costs of CO2 emissions and the higher demand for energy, its prices are going down, a tendency that raises concern on the Vistula. Poland’s energy transformation is a must, and renewable energy is not enough: the country will need nuclear power plants.
Newest polls found that only a dozen or so percent of Georgian citizens see their country going in the right direction. On the one hand, a change in power in the next year’s general vote is likely to happen if the Georgian political stage witnesses the birth of the long-awaited “third political force.”
The First Caspian Economic Forum, during which politicians and business representatives from five Caspian Sea states have met, has been recently held in Turkmenistan. As anticipated, the event has become a perfect occasion to announce a series of declarations and agreements by individual policy makers. Among the published reports, those regarding the plans of constructing the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, which is greatly supported by the US and EU, seem particularly interesting.
An agreement on energy cooperation signed between the United States, Poland and Ukraine is yet another episode in the U.S.-Russian war over the hydrocarbon market in Central and Eastern Europe. This is the response to the increased cooperation between Moscow and Berlin and the plan to make Germany a hub distributing Russian gas. Now, Poland has a chance to become a competitive hub distributing U.S. gas. This will benefit not only the U.S. and Poland, but also other countries in the Central and Eastern European region, providing an alternative to Russian gas.
Belarus is entering an election year. The country’s parliamentary elections will be held in November 2019, whereas the next presidential election is scheduled for spring 2020. Under the rule of Alexander Lukashenko, elections have become purely administrative rituals, however, this time, they might involve – from the regime’s perspective – a greater risk. On the one hand, Russia is putting more pressure on Belarus for further bilateral integration while at the same time reducing its economic assistance for the neighbour; on the other hand, Lukashenko has to start thinking about his future successor and the fact that without substantial reforms, the current economic model of Belarus is doomed to bankruptcy.
Paris’s ambition is to take over from Germany as Moscow’s top political partner in Europe. The first step consists in taking the lead in the so-called Normandy format. What seems to foster this move is the election of a new president of Ukraine. Seen to have been far closer to Germany, Petro Poroshenko was replaced with Volodymyr Zelensky, a politician said to be more France-oriented. What is the Kremlin’s reaction?
Recent months have brought a heated discussion over the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act, or Act 447. Adopted by the U.S. Congress, the law provided for Washington’s diplomatic efforts to help restitute Jewish properties to Holocaust survivors. Also, the act has raised the ire of the Polish diaspora in the United States while having surfaced right in the run-up for Poland’s local government elections. Few months have passed since, the issue has gone quiet in the media, but it is worthwhile to draw attention to the law itself, its nature as well as the stance of the Polish government.
Another round of talks on Nagorno-Karabakh was held in June in Washington, bringing together the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to discuss peaceful solutions to the thirty-year-long armed conflict in the region. Although June saw a relatively quiet situation on the front line, soldiers still die in sporadic battles fought on both sides. But is U.S. diplomacy likely to help establish peace in the Caucasus?
The United States officially pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. While announcing Washington’s ultimate decision, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Moscow of having violated the deal. Naturally, Moscow claims the United States is to be blamed for the end of the landmark agreement, a statement that was followed by Russia’s formal exit.