Eastern Europe

Digital 29-05-2020

Georgia targeted by fake stories of US secret labs spreading COVID-19

EU foreign ministers are discussing China on Friday (29 May), as the country started to back Russian narratives of Washington-led biological weapon development in Georgia and other post-Soviet countries. One widely circulating allegation in the internet during the pandemic claimed...
Cybersecurity 29-05-2020

NSA warns of ongoing Russian hacking campaign against US systems

The US National Security Agency on Thursday (28 May) warned government partners and private companies about a Russian hacking operation that uses a special intrusion technique to target operating systems often used by industrial firms to manage computer infrastructure.
26-05-2020

Building a prosperous, democratic and outward-looking Georgia

Safety requires cancelling public festivities but Georgians are marking their National Day by celebrating individually in their hearts and standing together in solidarity, writes David Zalkaliani.
Politics 15-05-2020

Orbán says prepared to hand back emergency powers at the end of May

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán expects that his government will be able to give back to the national parliament at the end of May the sweeping powers enacted during the coronavirus crisis, state news agency MTI quoted him as saying during a visit to Serbia on Friday (15 May).
12-05-2020

The EU must draw Georgia into its arms

EU institutions must continue to ensure that countries such pro-European as Georgia see the European Union as their ultimate goal, writes Paul L. Vandoren.
11-05-2020

EU’s Strategic Sovereignty start in Eastern Europe

While European societies take stock on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic on the EU, it has been increasingly common to hear that the pandemic proved the need for the EU to be more strategically sovereign. No doubt about that. But the real test for EU power and its strategic sovereignty won’t be in masks, but on how the EU deals with external problems, not least in its neighbourhood, write Nicu Popescu and Gustav Gressel.
Europe's East 23-04-2020

EU foreign affairs chief to turn to Europe’s East after COVID-19

The European Union's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, confirmed that his first visit following the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions will be to Ukraine, in a bid to affirm the EU's leadership in the region.
21-04-2020

COVID-19 fight and borderisation: Georgia sets good example

While pro-Russian separatists in occupied Georgian territory are taking advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak to press on with illegal borderisation, the population of these areas puts hopes in the success of Tbilisi in fighting the pandemic.
16-04-2020

IMF to raise funding to Georgia to $450 mln to fight coronavirus

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday (15 April) it was ready to provide Georgia with increased funding of $450 million this year to help the ex-Soviet country in its fight against the coronavirus and support the economy.
15-04-2020

Global conspiracies, local panics

The COVID-19 pandemic, disrupting societies, economies, families and persons alike, is compounded by a global contagion of rumours, conspiracies, fake news and other deadly narratives that, despite their appearance of being tailored to fit local characteristics, are strikingly similar at a transnational level, writes Alina Bargaoanu.
01-04-2020

Coronavirus used to promote anti-EU narrative in Balkans, report finds

The ongoing coronavirus crisis is feeding into the narrative that the EU is “turning its back” on the Western Balkans, the European External Action Service (EEAS) said in an updated report on ongoing disinformation campaigns surrounding the pandemic, published on Wednesday (1 April).
30-03-2020

EU announces COVID-19 help for Balkans, Eastern neighbours after criticism

The EU on Monday (30 March) announced nearly €40 million to help Western Balkan countries deal with the coronavirus, after Brussels came under fire for not doing enough for its neighbours.
24-03-2020

The Commission’s Eastern Partnership strategy is disappointing

Distance should not be a criterion: Georgia is better prepared for EU membership than the frontrunners of the Western Balkans, writes Andrius Kubilius.
24-03-2020

Georgia’s furious fight against COVID-19

Since reporting its first case of coronavirus on 26 February, Georgia has had only 61 confirmed cases of the virus as of 23 March. With 3,320 people placed in mandatory quarantines, the Caucasian country is being lauded as a success story in the global fight against the pandemic.
23-03-2020

Coronavirus pandemic batters tourism in Georgia

Spring has arrived in Tbilisi but its picturesque old town -- a whimsical mixture of Art Nouveau buildings and medieval churches -- is gloomy.
09-03-2020

Eastern Partnership’s champions expect more from the ‘geopolitical Commission’

As associated countries of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova ask for a more ambitious Eastern Partnership (EaP) policy, the debate continues about the next steps and available financial support for what is lauded as one of the EU's most successful foreign policies.
21-02-2020

Georgia reports massive cyber-attack ‘carried out by Russia’

Georgia’s foreign ministry announced on Thursday (20 February) that a massive cyber-attack had taken place against its state institutions and media, and that investigations have shown that Russia was responsible for it. “On 28 October 2019, a large scale cyber-attack...
Europe's East 20-02-2020

Concessions to Russia will cost Europe too much

Europe’s strength lies in its unity and solidarity, but strength does not mean making concessions to an aggressor in a hope that it will become your friend: strength is to make the aggressor hange his behaviour, writes Mykola Tochytskyi. Mykola...
Europe's East 19-02-2020

Risk still there for Ukraine to become frozen conflict – OSCE chief

Despite recent rapprochement between Ukraine and Russia, the full implementation of the Minsk agreements is still "miles away" and there is still a risk that the separatist regions could turn into another "frozen conflict", OSCE Secretary-General, Thomas Greminger, said in an interview with EURACTIV.
11-02-2020

Georgia’s top court slaps 3-year jail term on opposition figure

Georgia’s top court on Monday (10 February) sentenced a leading opposition politician to three years and two months in jail for embezzlement, a move which he condemned as politically motivated. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Gigi Ugulava, the 44-year-old leader...
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”...
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. 
11-12-2019

Georgia’s growing soft power

Great wines, bohemian restaurants, breath-taking landscapes, fascinating architecture and vibrant cities are Georgia’s soft power, writes Fraser Cameron.
03-12-2019

What should the EU do about South Caucasus? Here are some proposals

It appears the South Caucasus is not a foreign policy priority of the new European Commission. But it should be, write Dennis Sammut and Amanda Paul.

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