Since assuming the presidency in early 2010, Victor Yanukovych has tried to pursue a balance between strengthening Ukraine’s integration with Europe and maintaining a positive relationship with Russia. He has also sought to avoid having to choose between the European Union and Moscow. On one issue, however, he could not avoid a choice: Should Ukraine conclude an association agreement, including a deep and comprehensive free trade arrangement, with the European Union, or should it instead join a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan? Over the past several years, Yanukovych has consistently favored an EU association agreement, and Kyiv very [...]
Last Friday, the Pentagon announced that, by next July, all U.S. troops will leave Manas airbase in Kyrgyzstan. The base has served as the most important transit center for U.S. and coalition troops entering and leaving Afghanistan by air, but that role will soon be replaced by a base in Romania. The move comes in response to a July vote by Kyrgyzstan’s parliament to terminate the U.S. lease at Manas effective one year later, on July 11, 2014. It is not the first time Kyrgyzstan has threatened to end the arrangement. Unlike on previous occasions, this time Washington decided not [...]
They are the biggest demonstrations Romania has seen this century. Across the country and beyond, tens of thousands have taken to the streets in protests that have included a human chain around Bucharest’s massive parliament, one of the world’s largest buildings, and a rally of several hundred Romanians in London’s Trafalgar Square. If the demonstrations have gained momentum in part due to economic hardship and especially disillusionment with the political elite, they were initially triggered by a highly controversial mining project and the ecological and cultural damage that it might cause. Though environmental issues have for a long time been [...]
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