Europe's East

10-06-2021

Belarus: a moment of truth for European values

Firmness is the only answer to Alexander Lukashenko’s Soviet-era thuggery. But in addition to strict sanctions, those who oppose oppression need our help: psychological support and scholarships for now-exiled young activists, support for media and shelter for journalists, writes Frans Timmermans.
09-06-2021

EU keeps sanctions on ex-Ukraine leader, despite court loss

The EU said Wednesday (9 June) that Ukraine's former president Viktor Yanukovych and his son remain subject to asset freezes despite a court annulling an earlier decision to renew the sanctions.
09-06-2021

Belarusian activists stage rally in Lithuania seeking to block traffic to Belarus

Belarusian activists in Lithuania have staged a rally aiming to block traffic heading to and from Belarus via the Medininkai border crossing, in a bid to put pressure on the Belarusian regime to open borders and call for stricter EU sanctions.
08-06-2021

Belarus strongman toughens protest laws

Belarusian strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday (8 June) signed legislation toughening protest laws, raising the stakes of a crackdown following his disputed re-election last year.
04-06-2021

Belarus authorities stage propaganda ‘interview’ with jailed journalist

Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich, who was arrested after his plane was forced to land in Minsk, appeared on state television Thursday (4 June) in a tearful interview that family and campaigners say was conducted under duress.
31-05-2021

What can Lithuania and Poland do to protect Belarusian political refugees?

As many Belarusians flee their country and seek refuge in neighbouring countries, what can Lithuania and Poland do to protect Belarusians, write Monika Bičkauskaitė and Veranika Laputska.
Eastern Europe 31-05-2021

Georgia opposition ends parliamentary boycott

Georgia's main opposition party on Sunday (30 May) announced the end of a months-long parliamentary boycott that has plunged the Caucasus nation into a spiralling political crisis, following disputed elections last year.
31-05-2021

Putin and Lukashenko go for boat ride after plane outcry

Russian President Vladimir Putin took Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko for a boat trip on Saturday (29 May) as the close allies met for a second day and held "informal talks" amid the outcry after Minsk diverted a European plane.
28-05-2021

Putin and Lukashenko to meet after Belarus plane diversion

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko will meet Friday (28 May) after the UN civil aviation agency announced it will investigate the diversion of a passenger plane and the arrest of a journalist on board in a...
27-05-2021

Borrell: EU could hit key Belarus exports over plane ‘hijacking’

The EU is intent on making Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko pay a high price for the forced landing of a European airliner to arrest regime opponents, the bloc's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told AFP in an interview.

Ukraine condemns lack of progress towards NATO membership

Ukrainian authorities on Wednesday (26 May) condemned NATO reluctance to speed up Kyiv's membership in the alliance following tensions with Moscow over a buildup of Russian troops along the ex-Soviet country's borders.
27-05-2021

Defiant Lukashenko defends plane diversion, blasts critics

A defiant President Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday (26 May) defended Belarus's diversion of a European flight and arrest of a dissident on board, lashing out at critics at home and abroad.
26-05-2021

Independence Day of Georgia – a story of freedom lost and regained

On 26 May, when Georgia celebrates its Independence Day, David Zalkaliani, the country's vice prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, describes what this day means for his compatriots.
25-05-2021

EU leaders agree to pile sanctions on Belarus over jetliner ‘state piracy’

Western powers prepared to pile sanctions on Belarus and cut off its aviation links, furious after it scrambled a warplane to intercept a Ryanair aircraft and arrest a dissident journalist, an act one leader denounced as 'state piracy'.
Politics 24-05-2021

Lithuania bars airport access to carriers flying over Belarus

Lithuania’s government has banned flights from departing or arriving in the country if they have used, or plan to use, the Belarusian airspace, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė announced on Monday (24 May).
24-05-2021

Vilnius university says its student travelling with Protasevich also detained, demands release

A Belarusian university in Vilnius on Monday (24 May) said its student Sofia Sapega, 23, who was travelling with journalist Roman Protasevich, had also been detained when their flight was diverted there from Vilnius and demanded her release.
Digital & Media 24-05-2021

Minutes to touchdown: the moment the Belarusian journalist knew his time was up

Ryanair Flight 4978 had already begun its descent into the Lithuanian capital when the pilot announced that the plane would be suddenly diverting to Minsk, capital of neighbouring Belarus.
24-05-2021

Belarus ‘state terrorism’ suddenly tops the agenda as EU leaders meet

Belarus forced a plane carrying an opposition activist to land in its capital, provoking a furious outcry from world leaders who described it as an "act of state terrorism" ahead of an EU summit expected to toughen sanctions on Minsk.
22-05-2021

Belarus opposition activist dies in prison

A Belarusian political activist has died in jail where he was serving time for participating in the demonstrations that rocked the ex-Soviet country last year after a disputed presidential election, local media reported.
Eastern Europe 20-05-2021

Kakha Kuchava: In Georgia we are changing the political culture

In a wide-ranging interview, Kakha Kuchava, the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, told about the latest developments since the mediation by Council President Charles Michel, the role of Russia and the new format of ‘Associated Trio’ between Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.
18-05-2021

Kyiv mayor says state security agents came to his doorstep

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Tuesday (18 May) that Ukrainian state security agents had come to his apartment in what he denounced as an attempt by his rival, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to put pressure on him.
18-05-2021

Belarus raids main independent news site

Authorities in Belarus raided the offices of the country's largest independent news portal and took down its website on Tuesday (18 May), management said, signalling a widening crackdown after historic opposition protests last year.
Eastern Europe 18-05-2021

Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine formalise their higher EU ambition

The three former Soviet republics hoping to join the EU have formalised their cooperation towards a more ambitious European integration on Monday (17 May) during a meeting of their foreign ministers in Kyiv.
Global Europe 12-05-2021

Ukraine advances treason case against Kremlin ally

The Ukrainian authorities put Viktor Medvedchuk, the Kremlin's most prominent ally in Ukraine, under formal suspicion for high treason on Tuesday (11 May) as part of a crackdown on his circle that has fuelled tensions between Kyiv and Moscow.