Despite parallel histories and a concerted push on both sides to forge lasting ties over the past decade, it is apparent today that Georgia and Israel face very different geopolitical concerns and increasingly conflicting national interests. Indeed, their partnership, which once seemed so natural, now looks permanently derailed. After Georgia’s 2003 Rose Revolution propelled a new generation of Western-educated modernizers to power in Tbilisi, the country sought to leverage its 130,000-strong diaspora in Israel for investments and partnership. Georgian officials praised Israel as a model and frequently drew comparisons between Israel’s difficult journey to statehood and Georgia’s ongoing conflicts with […]

Political conflict in the Basque Country has entered a new phase. In the past year, a reshuffling of political power in Spain has brought left-wing Basque nationalists to office in some major Basque cities and at the provincial level in Gipuzkoa, while ensconcing their ideological opponents, the conservative Popular Party (PP), in government at the national level in Madrid. Meanwhile, the announcement by the separatist extremist organization ETA in October that it was laying down its arms has raised hopes for an end to decades of secessionist violence. But tough challenges have yet to be resolved. As long as opposing […]

In the aftermath of François Hollande’s election as France’s president Sunday, much of the analysis has concentrated on the implications for Europe: in particular, how Hollande’s call for an emphasis on economic growth will impact the austerity cure imposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the solution to the European Union’s sovereign debt crisis. This is understandable, as France’s — and Europe’s — economic solvency will of course condition much of its ability to act on the international stage. But a quick look at Hollande’s agenda in the coming weeks — G-8, NATO, G-20 and EU heads of state summits […]

One issue that warrants greater attention from Washington policymakers moving forward is how relations between Russia and China will affect those two countries’ policies relating to nuclear arms control. In particular, the next administration needs to consider how the U.S. government and other actors can help shape this evolving relationship so that it moves in benign directions, while hedging against possible adverse outcomes. Russia and China have the world’s two most powerful militaries after that of the United States. China is currently undertaking perhaps the most comprehensive military modernization program in the world, while Russia still has approximately as much […]

Global Insider: Poland-Baltic Cooperation Hits a Roadblock in Lithuania

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite declined an invitation by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski earlier this month to join her Baltic colleagues in Poland to discuss regional security issues ahead of the NATO Summit in Chicago in May. In an email interview, Kinga Dudzinska, an analyst in the Eastern and Southeastern Europe program at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, discussed Polish-Baltic relations. WPR: How have Poland’s political and economic relations with the Baltic countries evolved in the post-Cold War period?Kinga Dudzinska: Since Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia regained their independence from the USSR in 1991 and joined the European Union and NATO […]

In Serbia, Elections Overshadowed by Economy

Serbians voted Sunday for a new president and parliament after a campaign focused on rising unemployment and economic woes, pitting pro-European President Boris Tadic against populist Tomislav Nikolic. World News Videos by NewsLook

Increasing EU-Ukraine Tensions Reducing Both Sides’ Leverage

Yulia Tymoshenko’s hunger strike to protest her alleged assault in the prison where she is serving a sentence on charges of abuse of power returned the former prime minister to the center of growing tensions between Ukraine and the European Union. Her case has further damaged already strained ties between the EU and Ukraine, a member of the Eastern Partnership initiative that the EU launched in 2009, in part to promote human rights in six post-Soviet states. In addition to Ukraine, the other participating states are Belarus, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Moldova. For Nicu Popescu and Jana Kobzova, both experts […]

The Missile Defense Conference currently taking place in Moscow demonstrates the wide gap that continues to separate Russia and the West on the issue of ballistic missile defense (BMD). Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov warned attendees that the two sides “have not been able to find mutually acceptable solutions at this point, and the situation is practically at a dead end.” The BMD issue has divided Moscow and NATO since the 1980s, and nothing on the horizon seems likely to narrow these differences any time soon. If there is one thing these years of frustrating experience should have taught us, […]

When the global financial crisis erupted in 2007, it seemed liked the ideal moment for the political left to launch a comeback, particularly in Europe. The crisis was a disaster that started in the very heart of capitalism, the banking system, and which triggered massive layoffs, soaring unemployment and painful home foreclosures. In the U.S., the financial crisis helped the left-of-center Barack Obama win the White House. But throughout Europe voters seemed generally disinclined to bring leftist politicians to office. That might be about to change. After several years of the center-right taking the reins in Europe, 2012 could come […]

News reports indicate that the United States and Russia are close to reaching an agreement that would expand a secure communications channel originally established to avert misunderstandings that might lead to nuclear war to the domain of cyberconflicts. Such confidence-building measures are useful tools given all the uncertainties regarding cyberconflicts as well as the poor prospects of negotiating cybersecurity treaties such as those that already exist for nuclear, biological, chemical and conventional weapons. The Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, created in 1988, has already been extended to exchange information in support of more than a dozen bilateral and multilateral treaties, some […]

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