A letter bomb presumably containing handmade explosives went off after being opened at the offices of the International Monetary Fund in Paris, March 16, 2017 (Sipa via AP Images).

On March 16, a letter bomb addressed to Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, was intercepted in the ministry’s building before it could go off. Its sender, according to the return address, was Adonis Georgiadis, the deputy leader of New Democracy, Greece’s right-wing opposition party. At the same time, a similar letter-bomb actually exploded at the offices of the International Monetary Fund in Paris, slightly injuring a staff member. This one, too, had been posted under the name of a New Democracy politician. The attacks were covered in the international press, but their significance and meaning has perhaps been obscured by […]

Protesters march holding a banner that reads "The worker is not a slave!" during demonstrations against the presidential election victory of Aleksandar Vucic, Belgrade, Serbia, April 11, 2017 (AP photo by Darko Vojinovic).

BELGRADE, Serbia—Tens of thousands of Serbians have taken to the streets in recent days to protest the victory of current Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in the country’s presidential election on April 2. The demonstrations also reflect widespread economic and political dissatisfaction as well as divisions in the country, and present a challenge to the European Union’s approach to the Western Balkans. Brussels is increasingly seen in some quarters as promoting stability over deep reform in the combustible region, allowing strongmen to erode democracy and independent institutions. Protesters returned to central Belgrade on April 18 following a brief lull over Easter, […]

German soldiers at the Sestokai railway station, west of Vilnius, Lithuania, Feb. 24, 2017 (AP photo by Mindaugas Kulbis).

Editor’s Note: This is the first in an ongoing WPR series about NATO members’ contributions to and relationships with the alliance. In February, a battalion of 1,000 NATO soldiers arrived in Lithuania, the first of a series of deployments in Eastern Europe that come as a response to the threat posed by Russia. According to Reuters, the battalion is led by Germany and also includes soldiers from Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Luxembourg. In an email interview, Agnia Grigas, nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council and the author of books including “Beyond Crimea: The New Russian Empire,” discusses Lithuania’s […]

Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the leader of the center-right GERB party, during a press conference at the party's headquarters, Sofia, Bulgaria, March 26, 2017 (AP photo by Vadim Ghirda).

Bulgaria may have had three parliamentary elections in four years, but there is little sense of change in the air. After the latest vote on March 26, the next government seems set to be another unstable coalition patching together various egos, business interests and veneers of political philosophies. While EU wannabes Serbia and Macedonia continue to attract criticism and scrutiny for weighing Western and Russian interests against each other, member state Bulgaria will continue its own balancing act. Perhaps the biggest change after last month’s election is that tentatively reformist parties are now shut out of parliament, while the mainstream […]