Vlagyiszlav Makszimov

Europe's East 17-01-2020

A Ukrainian story: leaks, PM resignation, vermicelli and Zelenskiy

The new political season in Ukraine kicked off with audio tapes leaked on Wednesday (15 January), suggesting that the prime minister, finance minister and deputy central bank governor had criticised President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's incompetence in the fields of economy and finance.
Politics 17-01-2020

Austria and V4 agree on everything but nuclear

The leaders of the V4 group met on Thursday (16 January) in Prague’s renovated national museum to discuss migration, border security, competitiveness, enlargement and climate. The newly appointed Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, also in attendance, said he wanted to “fight”...

NGOs hail opinion urging EU court to annul Hungary’s restrictions on foreign financing

Human rights watchdogs hailed on Tuesday (14 January) an opinion from the advocate general of the EU's top court which said restrictions imposed by Hungary on the financing of civil organisations from abroad breach EU law.
Mayor of Budapest Gergely Karacsony addresses demonstrators
Politics 14-01-2020

Media say EU money to be taken from Budapest, government says ‘fake news’

Hungarian news website Népszava has published what it said were leaked documents that suggest the government’s proposal for spending EU money in 2021-27 would block all investment in Budapest, the country's capital run by the opposition since October. The government said it was 'fake news'.
Eastern Europe 13-01-2020

Abkhazia’s de facto president resigns, triggers new elections

In four days, Abkhazia, the breakaway region of Georgia, has seen government buildings smashed, protests to depose the de facto president come to fruition, a court decision that annulled previous elections published and new snap-elections called, a caretaker president appointed and opposition candidacy declared. 
Global Europe 09-01-2020

Europe must go beyond empty words on Iran, experts say

EU foreign ministers gathering to discuss Iran on Friday (10 January) should be mindful of a changed domestic situation in the country, experts warn. Scholars predict that the Iranian parliamentary elections due to take place next month will reward those less critical of the state and strengthen the regime weakened by internal unrest at the end of last year
Central Asia 20-12-2019

Kazakhstan president reshuffles key positions

Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has unexpectedly reshuffled key government positions on Wednesday (18 December), three weeks after signing a law that makes cabinet ministers directly responsible for corruption among their subordinates.
Europe's East 11-12-2019

‘Ukraine at its worst’: Is the new president targeting his predecessor?

Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has opened a new pre-trial criminal investigation into former President Petro Poroshenko, in an act seen by many as politically motivated and a symbol of Ukrainian politics at its worst.

‘Soros orchestra’: The next chapter in Hungary’s Article 7 odyssey

The General Affairs Council held a thematic hearing on Tuesday (10 December) on the ongoing Article 7 procedure against Hungary, tackling the alleged breaches of judicial independence, academic freedom and freedom of expression, particularly media freedom.
Europe's East 09-12-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – The year of living dangerously in Ukraine

Ukraine's political scene is probably among the world's most interesting at the moment, not only because of the ongoing attempt to impeach Donald Trump over a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Enlargement 06-12-2019

Commissioner Várhelyi: Youth to become new ‘focal point’ in Eastern Partnership

In one of his first public appearances, Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement, said on Thursday (4 December) reviving civil society and economy by reaching out to youth would be his priority in the context of Eastern Partnership.
Central Europe 05-12-2019

Did Hungary turn to the Russian Duma for support against Ukraine?

Hungary has a deep controversy with Hungary over minority rights. In this context, a heated controversy has unfolded over reports that Budapest asked the Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, for joint efforts to uphold minority rights in Ukraine.
Europe's East 04-12-2019

Ukraine: Pro-western opposition sets ‘red lines’ ahead of ‘Normandy’ summit

Three Ukrainian opposition factions have proposed their red lines, including the return of Crimea to Ukraine's full control, ahead of a four-way Normandy summit to be held on in Paris on Monday (9 November).
Central Asia 03-12-2019

Central Asia leaders meet again in sign of increased regional cooperation

A five-way summit hosted by Uzbekistan’s President Shavket Mirziyoyev took place in the Kuksaroy Palace in Tashkent, the country's capital, on Friday (29 November). The second meeting of Central Asia leaders in as many years focused on geopolitics and stability, but also on environmental concerns.
Freedom of thought 28-11-2019

Hungarian media deny claims that Eurovision 2020 is ‘too gay’

Hungary will not take part in Eurovision 2020, the annual song contest that will take place in Rotterdam next year. Reports have emerged that the reason was the high number of LGBTQ+ participants, which goes going against the conservative views of Viktor Orbán's government.

MEPs shut out of Hungary Council hearing as rule of law situation worsens

MEPs are reeling after being shut out of a Council hearing under the Article 7 procedure against Hungary for systemic breaches to the rule of law, as the situation in the country further deteriorates.
Europe's East 22-11-2019

New EPP chief Tusk voices concern over ‘politically motivated prosecutions’ in Ukraine

Politically motivated prosecutions are a matter of concern in Europe, said Donald Tusk, the outgoing EU Council president, as he was elected leader of Europe’s centre-right political family.
Europe's East 21-11-2019

Future of Eastern Partnership: EPP backs trio plan, Commission cautious

The European People's Party (EPP) has presented a proposal to enable faster and deeper sectoral integration with the EU for the three countries within the Eastern Partnership (EaP) -- Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova -- that are looking for a more ambitious integration with the bloc.
Europe's East 19-11-2019

Large scale corruption undermines EU’s Eastern Partnership, official says

When billions of dollars disappear from banks in Ukraine and Moldova, and justice isn't done in spite of European funds supporting judicial reforms in these countries, trust in the EU is inevitably eroded, said a high EU official.
Europe's East 18-11-2019

Zelenskiy’s aide met Trump ally in Kyiv

Trump's former campaign adviser and lobbyist ally Bryan Lanza met with Ukraine's President  Volodymyr Zelenskiy aide Andriy Yermak at a restaurant on Wednesday (30 November), Ukrainian media have reported.
Central Asia 15-11-2019

Clear path for EU-Kazakhstan agreement to enter into full force

Italy was the last EU country to ratify the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) with Kazakhstan, signed in 2015, paving the way for the trade deal to enter into full force.
Enlargement 14-11-2019

Hungary’s Commission pick survives enlargement test, deflects on Orban

The Western Balkans must have a credible perspective of joining the European Union as it is in Europe's geopolitical interest, Hungary's Commissioner-designate for enlargement and neighbourhood told his European Parliament hearing on Wednesday (14 November).
Europe's East 13-11-2019

Zelenskiy orders law regulating Ukraine’s media, causing uproar

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has ordered officials to swiftly draft a bill regulating media activity in Ukraine, in an effort to increase media accountability and prohibit Russian ownership and financing of news outlets.
Global Europe 08-11-2019

Child labour eradication is a priority for new Commission

Eradication of child labour through higher standards and better enforcement of trade deals is a priority of the new European Commission, whose representative told a EURACTIV event there have been "significant developments" in sustainability and transparency in the textile industry, one of the sectors most associated with child labour.

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