Europe's East

17-09-2021

Ryanair eyes aggressive expansion in Ukraine, banks on migrant workers

Ryanair is planning aggressive expansion in Ukraine if the country joins the European Union's Open Skies deregulated aviation market in the coming months, Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said on Thursday (16 September).
13-09-2021

The Brief, powered by EPRA – The Crimea question

The “countdown for the de-occupation” is running, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said at the first Crimea Platform summit last month, where 46 summit participants, including 14 national leaders, stressed the possibilities for Ukraine to regain full control of the peninsula.
10-09-2021

Ukrainian president says war with Russia a worst-case possibility

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday (10 September) that all-out war with neighbouring Russia was a possibility, and that he wanted to have a substantive meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Global Europe 09-09-2021

Chizhov: Russia is well-placed to play a constructive role in Afghanistan

In a wide-ranging interview, the Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov discussed Afghanistan, the ‘Crimea Platform’, carbon border tax, COVID and vaccines, and the new political season.
09-09-2021

Crimea features high in recent EU-Russia communication

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday (8 September) told European Council President Charles Michel that the EU was continuing to discriminate against residents of Crimea, the Kremlin said in a readout of a phone call between Putin and Michel.
07-09-2021

West cries foul as Belarus protest leader Kolesnikova sentenced to 11 years

Maria Kolesnikova, one of the leaders of mass street protests against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko last year, was sentenced on Monday (6 September) to 11 years in prison, leading to an outcry from Western countries.
Global Europe 03-09-2021

Poland, Latvia worry over Russia’s war games on tense EU-Belarus border

Poland and Latvia expressed concern on Thursday (2 September) over Russia's looming military drills held jointly on Belarus' western border where the European Union accuses Minsk of pushing migrants over to put pressure on the bloc.
01-09-2021

EU chides Georgia over loans for reform programme

Following the Georgian government's decision not to take the €75 million worth second instalment of loan assistance from the EU, Brussels said on Tuesday (31 August) Tbilisi had failed to fulfil the reform conditions attached to the assistance, the latest sign of a cooling relationship with the post-Soviet country's leadership.
25-08-2021

UN refugee agency presses Poland to help migrants on Belarus border

The UN refugee agency UNHCR and rights groups urged Poland to offer medical and legal support and shelter to migrants camping on the border with Belarus, a day after Warsaw said it would build a fence to prevent migrants crossing.
24-08-2021

Zelenskiy stresses closer NATO, EU ties as Ukraine marks 30 years of independence

Ukraine celebrated 30 years of independence on Tuesday (24 August) with a military parade and massive festivities in its capital Kyiv, vowing to reclaim territories annexed by Russia, in order to join NATO and the EU and escape Moscow's stranglehold.
24-08-2021

Poland to build fence, double troop numbers on Belarus border

Poland will build a fence along its border with Belarus and double the number of troops there, the defence minister said on Monday (23 August), to halt a flow of migrants the European Union says is being driven by Minsk in retaliation for EU sanctions.
23-08-2021

Ukraine vows to bring Crimea back as international leaders affirm support in Kyiv

An international summit initiated by Ukraine reaffirmed on Monday (23 August) international commitments to de-occupy Crimea, seven and a half years after Russian troops occupied the strategic Black Sea peninsula.
23-08-2021

Merkel says Nord Stream 2 should not be used as ‘geopolitical weapon’, Zelenskiy unconvinced

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday (22 August) called for an agreement to extend Russian gas transit through Ukraine, in an attempt to reassure Kyiv over the nearly completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will carry gas to Europe while bypassing the country.
Azerbaijan 20-08-2021

France: a natural mediator of rapprochement between Armenia and Azerbaijan

It is France's duty to play the role of mediator between Armenia and Azerbaijan, argues Jérôme Lambert.
Global Europe 20-08-2021

Senior Russian security official questions US commitment to Ukraine after Afghan exit

One of the most senior Russian security officials questioned Washington's commitment to Ukraine in light of its rushed exit from Afghanistan, forecasting on Thursday (19 August) that it would one day abandon its Ukrainian allies in a similarly abrupt fashion.
19-08-2021

Poland sends troops to Belarus border as migrant numbers surge

Poland has sent more than 900 troops to help secure its border with Belarus, its defence minister said on Wednesday (18 August), after a surge in illegal border crossings.
18-08-2021

Lithuania accuses Belarus of border violations

A dozen Belarusian officers in riot gear illegally crossed into Lithuanian territory on Tuesday (17 August) while pushing a group of Iraqi migrants over the border, Lithuania's border guard service said.
Global Europe 17-08-2021

Greece must not become gateway to EU for fleeing Afghans, says minister

Greece does not want to become the entry point into the European Union for Afghans fleeing the escalating conflict in their homeland, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said on Tuesday, calling for a common EU response to the crisis.
12-08-2021

370 Iraqi would-be migrants to EU flown home from Belarus

Iraq has repatriated 370 of its nationals from the Belarus border with Lithuania, a government source said Wednesday (11 August), after accusations that Minsk has been encouraging unauthorised arrivals of migrants to the EU.
Global Europe 12-08-2021

Belarus tells US to cut embassy staff in row over sanctions

Belarus has told the United States to reduce its embassy staff in Minsk and revoked its consent to the appointment of Julie Fisher as the ambassador in response to the latest sanctions by Washington, the Foreign Ministry said.
11-08-2021

Latvia, Lithuania take emergency action over Belarus border

Latvia on Tuesday (10 August) declared a local state of emergency along its border with Belarus, as Lithuanian lawmakers approved the construction of a fence to stem an influx of illegal migrants.
10-08-2021

EU sees ‘significant decrease’ in Lithuania arrivals

The European Union on Tuesday said there had been a "significant decrease" in migrants crossing the border from Belarus into Lithuania after Iraq halted flights to Minsk.
Global Europe 10-08-2021

Biden administration takes fresh action against Belarus’ Lukashenko

US President Joe Biden signed an executive order imposing new measures aimed at punishing Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko as the United States steps up pressure against his government in coordinated action with the United Kingdom and Canada.
09-08-2021

Defiant Lukashenko says Belarusian Olympic defector was ‘manipulated’

President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday a Belarusian sprinter who defected at the Olympic Games in Tokyo had been "manipulated" by outside forces and would not have fled abroad otherwise.