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The Nordic-Baltic Alliance Looks East

On February 19, 2014, The European Institute, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania and the Embassy of Sweden, held a breakfast discussion with The Honorable Vytautas Leskevicius, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Affairs for the Republic of Lithuania and His Excellency Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, focusing on the increasingly potent role that the partnership between Nordic and Baltic states has assumed in defining both regional and European foreign policy priorities.  Particular emphasis was placed on sustaining the EU’s Eastern Partnership Initiative following last year’s Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and on assessing the implications of the volatile situation in Ukraine.

 

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European Affairs

The Journal of the European Institute

Perspectives: Greece Taps The Market
- By J. Paul Horne, Independent International Market Economist

paul_horne_realThe Greek government borrowed on the international bond market last week, the first time in over four years.[1] The bond issue comes just five years after Greece’s severe economic and financial crisis had become an existential threat to the euro itself. The fact that Greece was able to borrow €3 billion for five years at 4.75%, with orders totaling €20 billion from a horde of yield-hungry investors, on Thursday, April 10, signaled Greece’s emergence from financial quarantine. A day later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Athens to assure Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras that Germany would continue to support his government’s painful and ongoing structural reforms.     read more


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The Tatars in Crimea Face Crisis Again
- By Brian Beary, Washington correspondent for EuroPolitics

brianbeary-august2011A frail-looking, wizened old man mounts the stage to address an audience assembled at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Washington office, near Dupont Circle. His manner is informal, almost jovial – a contrast to the seriousness of topic he is speaking about: the annexation of his homeland, Crimea, by Russia, against the will of his people, the Crimean Tatars. "We are in a trap," explains 70-year old Mustafa Djemilev, the leader since 1989 of the Crimean Tatar National Movement, the main political party representing Crimean Tatars.     read more


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China and the “New” Silk Road
- By Kerry Brown, with Sam Hall

kerry.brown1To the east of the confines of the current Ukrainian crisis, another geopolitical rivalry over former Soviet Republics is taking shape. China has been making quiet but significant moves to establish a “new” silk road through the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.     read more

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Perspectives: U.S. Plans to Divest Control Over Internet’s ICANN; Dilemma for Some European Registries
- By David R. Johnson

davidjohnsonThe U.S. Commerce Department recently announced that it is prepared to relinquish its contracting role with ICANN for the provision of the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) services. IANA provides a crucial function for the internet by processing and approving changes in the root zone file.   This will likely reduce the power of U.S. government unilaterally to oversee or regulate ICANN’s processes for making policies that bind internet registries, registrars and registrants by means of mandatory flow down contracts.

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Perspectives: Armenia’s Choice — A Different Path from Ukraine
- By Armen Sahakyan

armensahakyanphotoAs the Ukrainian crisis threatens to bring simmering tensions to a boil, another former Soviet state, Armenia, recently faced with similar choices, is quiet.   The core issue in both countries was having to choose between Europe and Russia.  Both countries have strong ties to both the West and to Russia. Like Ukraine, Armenia was engaged in the EU’s “Eastern Partnership” initiative, and also like Ukraine, it had initialed, after long negotiations, an Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union.   However, several months before last year’s Vilnius Summit, during which signatures were expected on these agreements, Serzh Sargsyan, President of Armenia, traveled to Moscow and issued a joint statement with Russia announcing Armenia’s desire to join the Russian-led Eurasian Customs Union.

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OUR MUST READS

NPR Interview, March 5, with Lithuanian Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis on the implications of events in the Ukraine to Baltic states and other former Soviet satellites.  Amb. Pavilionis speaks from  experience in the 1991 Lithuanian independence. Recommended by European Affairs.

"As Prime Russian Trading Partner, Germany Appears Crucial to Ending Crisis," by Landon Thomas Jr., in March 4, New York Times.  Good analysis on Germany's important role in the Ukrainian crisis. Recommended by European Affairs.

"Ukraine and the United States by Jack Matlock".  Former U.S. Ambassador to the USSR under President Reagan, Jack Matlock offers crisp insight into European and American approaches to the Ukrainian crisis.  Recommended by European Affairs.

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