The political aftermath of the refugee crisis in Europe, and the rise of far-right populism, is cause for growing concern in Azerbaijan, a country that sees itself as a bridge between the West and the Islamic world. EurActiv reports from Baku.
The Kremlin last week supported a conference of separatist movements in Moscow, with guests from Europe, the Middle East and the US. Similar movements are banned in Russia, where separatists face up to five years in prison. EurActiv France reports.
The President of Azerbaijan said his country has never been stronger, more free and independent, in a speech following a referendum on constitutional reform held on Monday (26 September) and backed by over 91% of the population.
Next month, European Union leaders will explore the possibility of improving strained ties with Russia in response to growing irritation among some member states over economic sanctions imposed on Moscow over its role in the Ukraine crisis.
Azerbaijanis went to the polls today (26 September) in a controversial referendum on handing extra powers to long-serving President Ilham Aliyev, with opposition and human rights groups criticising the proposed constitutional changes as undemocratic.
The fight for the control over a profitable company that transports Russia's gas to Europe exposed the clan warfare and backstabbing that surrounds Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and hampers Kyiv's bid to anchor its ties to the West.
The ratification of the Paris deal on slashing greenhouse gas emissions by the USA and China has caught the EU by surprise. In a stunt never seen before, EU countries will make efforts to pass the deal through national parliaments by 7 October.
Products for sale in the Crimean stores of two European retailers are being shipped there from Russia via a ferry and port subject to EU sanctions, transportation employees said, indicating that companies are finding ways to dodge the punitive regime in place since 2014.
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, heading to Moscow for talks about trade with President Vladimir Putin, said on Wednesday (21 September) that he favoured a lifting of EU sanctions on Russia but that would require making progress on peace in Ukraine.
The closure of the OSCE office in Baku was the result of US pressure, Ilham Aliyev told the EU-Azerbaijan parliamentary committee yesterday (20 September). EurActiv.com broke the news of its shuttering in June 2015.
A statement by a Russian MP has sent wave shocks in Bulgaria, the country beginning to realise that the many Russians who bought real estate to Bulgaria may sooner or later become a powerful political force,
Ukraine is doing less than Russia to meet its obligations under the Minsk peace plan, Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Saturday (17 September), stepping up calls for the European Union to end sanctions against Moscow.
Ukraine has changed the charter of Naftogaz in violation of a deal with foreign creditors, in a move that could hold up a $500 million loan for vital gas purchases from Europe, the state-run energy firm said on Friday (16 September).
German Vice-Chancellor and Economic Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel will visit Russia next week to hold talks with Russian government officials about the state of bilateral trade relations, his ministry said in a statement on Friday (16 September).
Viktor Orbán, Hungary's fiery nationalist prime minister, is known for the contempt he showers on most European leaders. But when he appeared alongside Poland's Jaroslaw Kaczynski last week, he paid his fellow Eastern European right-wing ruling party leader the ultimate complement: together they would make perfect partners in crime.
Lawmakers loyal to hardline Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko retained power in an election yesterday (11 September), but the opposition's win of a seat for the first time in 20 years could help the ex-Soviet nation further improve ties with the West.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday (7 September) said ex-Soviet Georgia has moved closer to membership, in a show of support for the tiny Caucasus nation despite fierce opposition from Russia.
The refugee issue continues to haunt the EU. The bloc should press on with its plans to give Turkey visa liberalisation, as the refugee deal has reinvigorated EU-Turkey relations. This will positively impact on other areas too, writes Çiğdem Nas.