Global Europe

Agrifood 17-05-2022

Yemen’s wheat industry urges international action to avert mass famine

Urgent international action is needed to avert a mass famine in Yemen on a never-before seen scale due to the Ukraine war, according to the country's largest wheat importer, the HSA Group, who wrote to leaders ahead of a UN summit this week. 
17-05-2022

US backs UN push to get Ukraine grain back to global market

The United States supports efforts by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to get Ukrainian grain back into the international marketplace amid the war, the US ambassador to the United Nations said on Monday (16 May).
17-05-2022

Ukrainian troops evacuate from Mariupol, ceding control to Russia

Ukraine's military said on Tuesday (16 May) it was working to evacuate all remaining troops from their last stronghold in the besieged steel plant in Mariupol, ceding control of the city to Russia after months of bombardment.
Europe's East 17-05-2022

EU reputation at stake as Hungary continues to block Russia sanctions

The EU has not found consensus on the new sanction package against Russia and an agreement could be still 'a week or two' away, EU's chief diplomat Josep Borrell said on 17 May, as Hungary said it would not lift its veto.
16-05-2022

The Brief – Is Putin a CIA asset?

According to Russian propaganda, Gorbachev and Yeltsin were CIA agents tasked with destroying the USSR. This narrative, although debunked by the EU’s foreign affairs service, still holds in parts of Russian society; the last President of the USSR and the first...

Sweden takes formal decision to apply for NATO membership

Sweden’s Social Democrat minority government on Monday (16 May) decided it will formally apply for NATO membership, following in the footsteps of its neighbour Finland.
16-05-2022

EU ministers urge Hungary to sign up to planned Russian oil embargo

EU foreign ministers sought to publicly pressure Hungary on Monday (16 May) to lift its veto on a proposed oil embargo on Russia, with Lithuania saying the bloc was being "held hostage by one member state".
Economy & Jobs 16-05-2022

China’s economy skids as lockdowns hit factories, retailers

China's retail and factory activity fell sharply in April as wide COVID-19 lockdowns confined workers and consumers to their homes and severely disrupted supply chains, casting a long shadow over the outlook for the world's second-largest economy.

Neutral Switzerland leans closer to NATO in response to Russia

Switzerland's fabled neutral status is about to face its biggest test in decades, with the defence ministry tilting closer to Western military powers in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Energy 16-05-2022

Iran considering gas exports to Europe: official

Iran is considering the possibility of exporting gas to Europe, an oil ministry official said Sunday (15 May) against the backdrop of soaring energy prices due to Russia's war in Ukraine.
Enlargement 16-05-2022

Eastern Europe’s experience can help EU’s future enlargement

Hesitation about EU enlargement is short-sighted and potentially very dangerous, as this year's events have shown. The bloc's enlargement must be conceived of and executed as a geopolitical expansion, write Pavlína Janebová and Pavel Havlicek.
Europe's East 16-05-2022

Stop calling Putin, Estonia’s prime minister says

There is no point in talking to Vladimir Putin if we really want him to understand he is isolated, Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas told EURACTIV in what can be seen as a thinly veiled criticism of French President Emmanuel Macron's largely unsuccessful phone diplomacy with Moscow.
16-05-2022

Bosnia reacts after Albania fails to pass resolution on Srebrenica genocide

Bosnian MP Sabina Cudic addressed an open letter to Prime Minister Edi Rama, criticising his government’s refusal to vote on a resolution condemning the Srebrenica genocide and accusing him of tabling the resolution as a concession to Serbia. In 1995,...
16-05-2022

‘EU politicians advocating to save Putin’s face are wrong’

European politicians who are appealing for making a peace treaty with Russia or arguing about the need to "help Putin save his face" are sharing responsibility for all Russian war crimes in Ukraine and the blood of Ukrainian civilians and children, writes Roman Rukomeda.
16-05-2022

Lebanon vote brings blow for Hezbollah allies in preliminary results

Iran-backed Hezbollah has been dealt a blow in Lebanon's parliamentary election on Sunday (15 May) with preliminary results showing losses for some of its oldest allies and the Saudi-aligned Lebanese Forces party saying it had gained seats.
16-05-2022

US, EU to boost coordination on semiconductor supply, Russia

The United States and the European Union plan to announce on Monday (16 May) a joint effort aimed at identifying semiconductor supply disruptions as well as countering Russian disinformation, officials said.
16-05-2022

Battle rages for Ukrainian region of Donbas

Russia pummelled positions in the east of Ukraine on Sunday (15 May), its defence ministry said, as it sought to encircle Ukrainian forces in the battle for Donbas and fend off a counteroffensive around the strategic Russian-controlled city of Izium.
Politics 15-05-2022

Ukraine hopes to host 2023 Eurovision in ‘free’ Mariupol, amid technical challenges

After winning the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) on Saturday (14 May), Ukraine is expected to host the gala event next year, highlighting another symbol of its renewed European integration. However, with the war still raging in its territory, the prospect of holding the 2023 edition in Ukraine remains daunting.
15-05-2022

Global Europe Brief: Will Turkey be a stumbling block for NATO enlargement?

In this week’s edition: Nordic NATO bid, Foreign Affairs Council preview and Ukraine latest.
15-05-2022

Ukraine wages counteroffensive against Russian forces in east

Ukrainian forces have launched a counteroffensive near the Russian-held town of Izium in eastern Ukraine, a regional governor said on Saturday (14 May), in what could prove a serious setback for Moscow's plans to capture the entire Donbas region.
Languages & Culture 15-05-2022

Folk rappers from Ukraine win Eurovision in musical morale boost

Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest Sunday (15 May) with an infectious hip-hop folk melody, as the embattled nation rides a wave of public support across Europe.
Politics 14-05-2022

Politics cannot be avoided but impact on contest limited, says Eurovision organiser

It is naive to think cultural institutions can be wholly separated from what is happening in the world and the invasion of Ukraine was so extraordinary that it required an exceptional reaction, the head of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)...
14-05-2022

Georgia’s separatist region of South Ossetia to hold referendum on joining Russia

The leader of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia on Friday (13 May) set 17 July as a date for a referendum on joining Russia.
14-05-2022

Ukraine thwarts Russian forces at river, sees long fight ahead

Ukrainian forces destroyed parts of a Russian armoured column as it tried to cross a river in the Donbas region, video from Ukraine's military showed on 13 May, as the Ukrainian defence minister predicted many weeks of grinding fighting ahead.