Europe's East

Global Europe 25-11-2021

Ukraine launches ‘special operation’ on Belarus border, holds anti-tank drills

Ukraine, which has accused Russia of massing troops and says Belarus could send migrants over its borders, launched an operation on Wednesday (24 November) to strengthen its frontier, including military drills for anti-tank and airborne units.
Global Europe 24-11-2021

Putin tells EU chief concerned about Ukraine ‘provocations’: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday (24 November) told European Council President Charles Michel he was concerned by Kyiv's "provocations" to inflame tensions in eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

US ‘deeply concerned’ by Bulgarian president’s Crimea comment

The United States waited until Rumen Radev's victory was confirmed in Bulgaria's presidential election run-off but then voiced its "deep concern" on Monday (22 November) over Radev's comment in a televised debate last week that “Crimea is Russian for the time being”.

Kremlin accuses West of artificially whipping up Ukraine tensions

The Kremlin accused the West of artificially whipping up tensions around Ukraine with repeated statements suggesting Russia was poised to launch an attack on its neighbour and told Washington and its allies to stop a military build-up nearby.

Georgia moves hunger-striking ex-leader Saakashvili to military hospital

Georgia on Saturday (20 November) moved jailed opposition leader and ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili to a military hospital from a prison clinic after doctors warned he risked death following a 50-day hunger strike.

US urges Georgia to treat ex-president on hunger strike with dignity

The United States on Thursday (18 November) urged Georgia to provide humane treatment to jailed ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been on a hunger strike for weeks is now reported to be in critical condition.

In wrinkle to Merkel, Morawiecki warns against direct talks with Lukashenko

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Thursday (18 November) cautioned against holding direct talks with Belarus on the unprecedented migrant crisis along Poland's border, saying it would "legitimise" the regime.

France, Germany say Russia’s publication of notes breaks diplomatic rules

France and Germany accused Russia on Thursday (18 November) of breaking diplomatic protocol after Moscow published their confidential correspondence over Ukraine, the latest sign of deteriorating ties between Moscow and the West.

Russia publishes Ukraine-related diplomatic correspondence with France, Germany

The Russian foreign ministry published on Wednesday (17 November) a number of diplomatic letters it exchanged with Germany and France to try to show that its diplomatic stance on talks over east Ukraine has been misrepresented.

Medics say Georgia hunger-striking ex-leader Saakashvili ‘critical’

Georgia's jailed opposition leader and ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been on hunger strike for weeks, is in a critical condition and lacks proper medical care, doctors said Wednesday (17 November).

Belarus and EU to hold talks on migrant crisis

Belarus said Wednesday (17 November) that President Alexander Lukashenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in a telephone call that Minsk and the EU should discuss the migrant crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border.

Estonia announces snap military exercise, will put razor wire along Russian border

The Estonian government summoned 1,700 reserve soldiers on Wednesday (17 November) for an unannounced exercise which will include installing a razor-wire barrier along 40 km of its border with Russia, as the migration crisis in nearby Belarus intensifies. The EU...
Azerbaijan 16-11-2021

Charles Michel demands ‘full ceasefire’ after Armenia, Azerbaijan clash

European Council President Charles Michel urged the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Tuesday (16 November) to call a “full ceasefire” after new border clashes erupted between the old foes. Michel said he had spoken to President Ilham Aliyev of...
Global Europe 16-11-2021

Macron warns Putin as EU prepares sanctions on Belarus

France told Russia on NATO would be prepared to defend the sovereignty of Ukraine, near where Moscow has been staging a troop buildup, while Western leaders sought to tackle a migrants crisis on the eastern borders of the EU.
Global Europe 16-11-2021

German regulator admits Ukraine as part of Nord Stream 2 certification process

Germany's energy regulator BNetzA said on Monday (15 November) that the Ukrainian gas companies Naftogaz and GTSOU will be included in the ongoing German certification procedures of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for which they have applied.
Eastern Europe 16-11-2021

EU meets troubled Eastern Partners in run up to leaders’ summit

Despite proclamations of “strong commitment” to Eastern partners, the EU’s reluctance to fast-track integration for its most ambitious next-door neighbours is causing increasing frustration as top diplomats met in Brussels on Monday (15 November) to chart the policy’s future. EU...

The Brief, powered by Facebook — EU’s solidarity with Poland has its limits

Poland can count on EU solidarity over the escalating Belarus border crisis. But this solidarity has its limits while people are dying at the EU external border, trapped in freezing conditions.

EU, NATO worried about Russia’s Ukraine military build-up as Belarus border crisis mounts

The EU and NATO expressed concern on Monday (15 November) over Russia’s increased military presence in and around Ukraine as the escalating migration crisis on the EU’s borders with Belarus prompt transatlantic allies to take Kyiv’s warnings seriously.

EU set to widen Belarus sanctions over migrant crisis

EU's chief diplomat Josep Borrell confirmed new details on sanctions as EU foreign ministers are set to widen punitive measures against Belarus on Monday (15 November) over what EU officials have called a “hybrid attack” at its eastern border.

EU pressure on Minsk-bound airlines is bearing fruit, Commission says

The European Commission has established contacts with various airlines in an effort to cut Minsk-facilitated migration routes into Belarus, the EU executive said on Friday (12 November) as several airlines confirmed they will restrict certain practices that could benefit human trafficking.
Global Europe 12-11-2021

Russia, West trade barbs at UN over Belarus migrant crisis

Russia traded barbs with Western members of the UN Security Council on Thursday (11 November) over a crisis on the border between Belarus and Poland, with Russia's deputy UN envoy suggesting his European colleagues have "masochist inclinations."
Global Europe 11-11-2021

Neighbours of Belarus say migrant crisis risks military clash

Countries bordering Belarus expressed concern on Thursday (11 November) that a crisis over growing numbers of migrants trying to break through its frontiers into the European Union could escalate into a military confrontation. Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia condemned “the deliberate...

EU considers sanctions on Minsk airport over migrant crisis

The European Union is considering imposing sanctions on Belarus' main airport in a bid to make it more difficult for airlines to bring in migrants and exacerbate a crisis on the bloc's borders, two diplomats said on Thursday (11 November).
Global Europe 11-11-2021

US warns Russia against another ‘serious mistake’ on Ukraine

The United States on Wednesday (10 November) warned Russia against making another "serious mistake" on Ukraine as it sought clarity about troop movements near the border.