Europe's East

EU ministers to discuss militarisation of Azov Sea

EU foreign ministers will discuss a range of issues in Brussels on Monday (19 November), including for the first time the militarisation of the Azov Sea, which according to diplomats has been effectively blockaded by Russia.
Global Europe 13-11-2018

US join EU in condemning ‘sham’ Donbas elections

The United States on Monday (12 November) dismissed leadership elections in separatist-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine as a "sham" one day after voters cast their ballots.
Global Europe 02-11-2018

Merkel, in Ukraine, vows to uphold Russia sanctions

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Kyiv on Thursday (1 November) she was determined to uphold sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict.

US representative for Syria: We’re not going to put this country back together

James F. Jeffrey, Special Representative for Syria engagement in the US Department of State, answered on Tuesday (30 October) the questions of a small group of Brussels journalists about the state of play in and around Syria.
29-10-2018

Rival diplomats to dispute second round of Georgia presidential election

Ex-French diplomat Salome Zurabishvili has taken a slight lead in Georgia's presidential election, seen as a crucial test for the increasingly unpopular ruling party, results showed on Monday (29 October).
25-10-2018

MEPs send message to Russia by giving Sakharov prize to Sentsov

The European Parliament awarded on Thursday (25 October) the prestigious Sakharov human rights prize to Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who has been jailed by Russia.
Azerbaijan 24-10-2018

Bolton tests the Caucasus waters ‘to advance American interests’

The Assistant to US President for National Security Affairs John Bolton arrived in Azerbaijan on Wednesday (24 October), as part of a tour which will also take him to Armenia and Georgia, in an effort described by commentators as an attempt to isolate Iran.
Elections 19-10-2018

Ukraine sets up group to stop any attempt by Russia to influence elections

Ukraine has set up a group to stop any attempt by Russia to influence next year’s elections, a state security body said on Thursday (18 October).
16-10-2018

Russian Orthodox Church breaks with Constantinople in row over Ukraine

The Russian Orthodox Church said on Monday (15 October) it had decided to sever all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in protest over its endorsement of Ukraine’s request for an “autocephalous”, or independent, church.
Global Europe 18-09-2018

Russia claims fresh ‘proof’ Ukraine downed flight MH17

Russia on Monday (17 September) released fresh information to back its claim the missile that downed a Malaysia Airlines flight over war-torn Ukraine in 2014 was fired by Kiev's forces.
Central Europe 06-09-2018

Poland’s push for Via Carpathia may boost cooperation in Eastern Europe

For a long time, Warsaw has been looking for opportunities to boost regional cooperation with neighbours. Now plans for the so-called Carpathian Strategy have gained the support of some countries in the region, paving the way for a series of joint projects partly funded by the EU.
Global Europe 03-09-2018

Tearful mourners queue to bid farewell to east Ukraine rebel chief

The funeral in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk of a pro-Russian rebel leader killed in an explosion last week drew vast crowds of mourners on Sunday (2 September), Reuters footage from the breakaway region showed. Alexander Zakharchenko was fatally injured in an...
Azerbaijan 27-08-2018

Merkel holds ‘intensive’ discussions in Azerbaijan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel held what she called "intensive" discussions with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in talks that addressed energy cooperation, human rights, and the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
23-08-2018

EU unlikely to heed British call for more Russia sanctions

The European Union is unlikely to heed London's call for it to match the latest US sanctions against Moscow over an attack on a former Russian spy in Britain earlier this year, diplomats in Brussels said.
Azerbaijan 23-08-2018

After Trump attack on Russia ties, Merkel eyes Azeri gas

Castigated by US President Donald Trump as relying too much on Russian gas supplies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Azerbaijan this week to discuss the development of a southern pipeline to deliver gas to Europe from the Caspian.
Global Europe 10-08-2018

Russian meddling in Greek domestic affairs ‘unacceptable’, Commission says

Russia’s meddling in Greece's domestic affairs is "unacceptable", the European Commission told EURACTIV.com, amid an ongoing war of words between Athens and Moscow.
Global Europe 10-08-2018

More Western sanctions will be seen as ‘economic war’, Moscow warns

If the United States decides to impose more sanctions on the banking sector or on specific currencies, then Russia will regard it as an “open declaration of economic war,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has warned.
07-08-2018

Georgia’s NATO future resurfaces during Russia conflict anniversary

Foreign affairs chiefs from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine met in Georgia this week to take part in commemorations marking 10 years since Russia’s invasion of the Caucasus Republic during 2008's August War.
06-08-2018

Russia used lessons from Georgia war in Ukraine conflict

Ten years ago, in August 2008, Russia and Georgia went to war over South Ossetia, a small separatist Georgian region which Moscow would later controversially recognise as independent, in the face of international criticism.
02-08-2018

Ukraine goes back to the future as IMF programme stutters

Ukraine's backsliding on reforms continues a national tradition: a Reuters study of data since 1994 shows it has drawn less than half the IMF funds it could have received, with commitment to change often weakening when economic indicators improve.
27-07-2018

Russia tests the waters for Donbas referendum

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said on Thursday (26 July) that the question of holding a referendum in eastern Ukraine was touched upon at a meeting of representatives of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine in Berlin, the RIA news agency reported.
26-07-2018

Opposition parties blast Merkel over secretive meeting with Russian officials

German opposition parties have criticised Chancellor Angela Merkel for not providing more detail of her discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the head of Russia’s military general staff Valery Gerasimov.
25-07-2018

Belarus extends visa-free travel for tourists to 30 days

Belarus on Tuesday (24 July) announced that it is extending visa-free travel for tourists from five days to 30 days in a move that could attract more visitors to the ex-Soviet state on the European Union's doorstep.
Armenia 20-07-2018

Prankster strikes again, catches Juncker out on Putin, Trump

In a recorded telephone call with a prankster impersonating Armenia's new prime minister, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described Russian President Vladimir Putin as his friend but said US President Donald Trump couldn’t understand what the world is about.