National Council elections were held in Slovakia on 30 September, which were won by the national-left party Smer (23%). The election result meant that a collation had to be formed, as Smer received too few votes to govern alone. The mission to form a government was entrusted by Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová to Smer party leader Robert Fico, who was already in office. Smer has entered into a coalition agreement with the centre-left HLAS (Voice) and the nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS). The new governing coalition has 79 out of 150 seats in parliament.
The CEE Cooperation Summit 2023 is a unique opportunity to delve into the challenges and opportunities that define the CEE region, while also exploring the synergies and cooperation fostered by the Three Seas Initiative.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Zhang Youxia, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission and a close associate of Chinese President Xi Jinping, met on Wednesday, November 8, in Moscow for talks.
In early November, the European Commission recommended opening EU accession negotiations with Ukraine once it meets final conditions. The decision was taken by the bloc as the Commission released its long-awaited annual enlargement report. For the first time, the European Union recommended opening EU membership negotiations with a country formally being at war.
Russia has attacked Ukrainian energy infrastructure 60 times in the last several weeks, Ukrainian officials have reported as winter approaches, driving up energy consumption. According to Ukraine’s intelligence agency, Russia has already begun a campaign of attacks on the Ukrainian power grid.
Russia has formally withdrawn from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), an agreement that sets limits on key categories of conventional military equipment. In response to Russia pulling out of the agreement, NATO froze operations for the treaty, saying it would not be feasible for the treaty to exist where allied parties abide by it and Russia does not. According to sources in the United States, a new reality will exert a positive impact on NATO’s deterrence and defense capabilities.
The October escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is part of a series of crises characteristic of the 2020s. At the same time, there is a phenomenon typical of democratic societies, which is a focus on one event that attracts worldwide attention. Therefore, the protracted war in Ukraine becomes a side issue in the stream of information inundating public opinion from the conflicted Middle East.
Ukraine’s parliament voted overwhelmingly (267-15) on Thursday, October 19 to advance legislation seen as effectively banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church over its ties to Moscow. The bill requires further voting before it gets finalized and reaches the desk of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukraine’s efforts to ban all Moscow-linked religious affiliation is yet another chapter in the historical split between the Orthodox churches in the two countries that generates thus political tensions.
With renewed conflict in the Middle East, and oil prices rising, it is clear that energy plays a pivotal role in economic development, national security, and geopolitical stability. A reliable and affordable energy supply is essential for economic growth. Ensuring energy security has never been more crucial.
Ukraine does not intend to extend the Russian gas transit contract after it expires at the end of 2024, according to Oleksiy Chernyshov, chairman of the state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz. Consequently, Ukraine will stop transit once the deal expires. Ukraine continues to transit Russian gas only to support its European colleagues who need this volume of gas, Chernyshov said. In response, Russia said the Ukrainian intention not to extend the contract past 2024 could run a major risk to both Kyiv and the European Union. A sudden halt to the remaining gas flows through Ukraine to Europe would be disruptive and raise gas prices in the affected countries and beyond, according to sources in Russia.
The early morning of October 7, 2023 (IST) brought an unexpected heavy terroristic strike targeted directly one of the main U.S. allies. A wide-ranging attack on Israel from the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (better known by its acronym, Hamas) site marks a new chapter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which may escalate destabilizing the fragile peace in the Middle East.
German oil and gas producer Wintershall Dea decided to legally separate its local activities in Russia, including joint ventures with Gazprom. “What we are saying is that we cannot predict when an exit will be possible in terms of the actual disposal of shares,” according to Wintershall Dea CEO Mario Mehren. Currently, the company is pursuing plans to completely exit the Russian market by mid-2024.
An anti-Israeli mob stormed Makhachkala International Airport in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan on October 29 searching for Jews and Israelis rumored to have arrived on a flight from Tel Aviv. Law enforcement agents arrived at the scene while Russian President Vladimir Putin convened a meeting to discuss the mob invasion at the airport. Antisemitic riots occurred elsewhere in Russia.
Russia’s mercenary system fights against China’s modern imperialism and of course there are the rest of the world is also playing role in Africa. A lot of countries make their business activity in Africa and try to get political and diplomatic influence in this area1. Make contracts, buy mines, bring military, and establish military bases. But what is the importance of Africa? And how do these two major powers seek to influence in Africa?
Following the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the hybrid war waged by the Kremlin has gained in strength due to the solidarity opposition of both Central and Eastern European countries and the European Union. Poland, as a geographically close member of the North Atlantic Alliance and a strong ally of the Ukrainian side, has become the target of increased Russian disinformation attacks.
On October 3, 2023, U.S. House of Representatives voted to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his position as leader of the chamber. The tally was 216 to 210 with eight Republicans siding with Democrats to remove him from the speakership. This marked the first time in history that the House removed its leader while the ouster paralyzed the legislative branch of the government. The absence of a speaker appeared no closer to a consensus for bipartisan cooperation in Congress.
Representatives of Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary have met on Tuesday, September 5th in Brussels to discuss the matter of expiring, with September 15th, ban on Ukrainian grain import. Members of European Union still cannot reach a consensus regarding the grain issue, that is going to satisfy not only everyone in Europe, but also in Ukraine and the developing parts of the world.
In recent months, rapidly growing numbers of migrant has become one of the major topics of the U.S. domestic public debate. The problem is particularly acute in so-called sanctuary cities, among which New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles stand out. The upcoming national election in 2024 and the rise of public concern indicate the slow shift in the democratic approach towards immigrants.
The G20 summit in Indi marked the early beginning of September. The U.S. President Joe Biden, along with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Bin Salman, and Japan’s Fumio Kishida, gathered in New Delhi for the culmination point of the G20 summit. The summit distincted the Chinese leader -Xi Jinping’s- absence.
Georgia has sided with Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine last year. State authorities obstructed Georgian volunteers in Ukraine and criticized Ukrainian support for the imprisoned former president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. In addition, Georgia boosted trade ties with Russia while opening borders to Russian citizens. State authorities also seek to begin impeachment proceedings against the country’s president, Salome Zourabichvili. A story of an alleged coup masterminded by Ukrainian sources to overthrow the Georgian government is also in line with this narrative.