GREAT EXPECTATIONS – UKRAINE AND…IRAN

DOMINIKA KLIMOWICZ

Ukraine crisis of 2014 turned out to be one of the key points for the geopolitical puzzle on the map of Europe. The final outcome of the events following the overthrow of president Victor Yanukovych and military presence of Russian troops in Crimea is still unknown. Mitigation of the effects of drastic changes that took place in the region will surely take decades. However, what may appear as a bit of surprise is the impact of the so called Ukrainian revolution on the domestic policy in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Essentially one needs to identify two major issues – alleged similarities between Iranian and Ukrainian regimes and the stand of the Iranian officials on the Ukrainian unrest itself. These factors seem to be interrelated, yet they need to be separated. Czytaj więcej

EUROPEAN ACTORS AND UKRAINE’S RECENT DEVELOPMENTS: IN QUEST FOR THE RIGHT NOTE

QUENTIN GENARD

The world’s eyes were turned towards Ukraine over the last week to an extent to which some other tragic events, as the protests in Venezuela, were shadowed despite their importance. Many articles were devoted to this issue, including several posts on this blog. They focused on state-to-state relations such as AmericanRussian or Polish stance towards Kyiv. This article will focus on the “speaking with one voice” issue of the European Union. The notion, theorized for a long time, has become a classical in the analysis of EU Foreign policy and is closely related to firstly the public face of the EU, secondly the number of actors having publicly a word to say, and thirdly who get the credit for an action. In this respect, the last events in Ukraine are a perfect case mixing several European authorities and national governments. This short text will argue that despite a chaotic start, the EU foreign policy might have found a new distribution of efficiency of the role than what it has been in the past. It will focus on the public relations part of the crisis, concentrating on the European side, and the narrative that emerged in media. Three periods will be covered: the public reactions to the bloody repression of February 19th, the journey of the three special envoys to Ukraine on February 20th and beyond. Czytaj więcej

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE? RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE ON THE CONFLICT IN UKRAINE

ANITA SĘK

The worldviews which we accept, the images which we construct in our heads, they are all shaped by ‘the fourth power’ – media. Fortunately we live in times when we have access to more than just one source of knowledge, and the Internet and social portals allow us to see something that the mainstream media would prefer to keep us unaware of. Nonetheless, these are still marketing and public relations – the victory over hearts and souls – that win the wars, more than just armoury and justice. But as an old socio-political saying goes: “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”, the truth has always several faces. Nowadays it is particularly pertinent in the Russian media reporting on the conflict in Ukraine. Diversity of facts and their presentations might make one feel schizophrenic. But this is the reality of today’s Russia.

In the last two days I read, watched and listened to all the main Russian media: newspapers, TV channels and radio stations, both state-owned, pro-opposition and independent ones, in order to present the closest possible Russian perspective on what is happening in Ukraine. Naturally, the results have been easily predicted, but what surprised me the most was firstly the number, variety and openness of independent and/or opposition media, and secondly, the incredibly different languages used by the governmental and the other channels of communication. Czytaj więcej

The Ukrainian lady declined to dance with the European partner: last tango for the EU’s Eastern Partnership?

QUENTIN GENARD

800px-Flag_of_Ukraine1A few days before the long-awaited Vilnius Summit (29-30 November), Ukraine took everyone short by turning its back to the European Union and moving closer to Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, as The Times wrote. On 21 November, the Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov signed a decree suspending the negotiations with the EU to „ensure the national security of Ukraine” and to „restore lost trade volumes with the Russian Federation”. The EU was warned through its special envoy in Kiev, the former Polish president Kwaśniewski, who said earlier that day “the deal with Ukraine is over”. Some commentators have seen the Vilnius Summit as a “moment of truth” for the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). In the context of Ukraine declining to dance with the European Union, what will be the consequences of the EU’s Eastern Partnership? The political reactions of Ukraine’s partners, the rationale of the Ukrainian decision and the probable consequences for the EU’s ENP will be also discussed. Czytaj więcej

Essential assistance? Operation EUBAM Moldova/Ukraine and its impact on the management of the fragile border

KAMIL ŁUKASZ MAZUREK, CII petersberg series
EUBAM cooperation (border control)source: EEAS

EUBAM cooperation (border control)
source: EEAS

The European Union Border Assistance Mission to the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM Moldova/Ukraine) is, at present, one of the largest ongoing European Union (EU) civilian operations. The mission, unlike other EU operations in Eastern and Southern Europe, has not been of particular concern to European policy makers, even at the outset. At the same time, thanks to its longevity and – to a large extent – technical character, the mission has the potential of making real progress in the field of Ukraine-Moldova border cooperation and providing positive value added to the Transnistria problem. EUBAM demonstrates EU’s commitment to the resolution of this issue and shows that the Union will not tolerate this illegal quasi-state forever. Concomitantly, the fact of running a longstanding, non-military, expert-technical-style mission indicates EU’s bottom-up approach to resolving the problem – gradually and without unnecessary hastiness. Czytaj więcej

Wake up call on the Eastern front

ANITA SĘK

„It is not like it was with Poland or Hungary. There is no automatism when it comes to knowledge on transition. The history does not repeat itself” stated Gunnar Wiegand, EEAS Director for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Regional Cooperation and OSCE , opening a debate On the Road to Reform: Assessing Progress in the Eastern Neighbourhood. The meeting was held on 5th October in Brussels on the occasion of a report’s presentation European Integration Index for Eastern Partnership Countries, prepared by experts of International Renaissance Foundation in cooperation with the Open Society Foundations.[1]

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