During the war in Ukraine, Telegram has been essential for communications. As a result, Moscow has infiltrated the encrypted messaging app’s channels to spread disinformation to Ukrainians and flood Russian users with pro-Kremlin content, indicating that when Moscow can’t block a technology, it will work to subvert and overwhelm it.
EU energy ministers adopted a natural gas price cap after months of heated negotiations, causing concern in the Biden administration and the European Commission that the cap will push exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas away from Washington’s allies in Europe and toward other countries that are willing to pay more for them.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Belarus this week to shore up support in Minsk for his war in Ukraine. Even if Alexander Lukashenko does not send troops to Ukraine, closer political and military ties between Moscow and Minsk signal Belarus’ loss of sovereignty and its de facto involvement in the war effort.
Germany’s image of political stability caused many observers to downplay the revelation in early December that German police had uncovered an organized plot by a network of far-right conspirators to mount a coup. But that underestimates the extent to which the group’s anti-constitutional worldview has spread in Germany.
If Iran’s moves over the past couple months are any indication, Turkey’s growing influence in the South Caucasus, especially its alliance with Azerbaijan, has heightened Tehran’s sense of unease. Iran now sees the prospect of an arc of Turkey-aligned states emerging as a powerful Turkic alliance along its northern borders.
In late November, the leaders of the Accra Initiative, a collaborative security mechanism designed to target the region’s common security challenges, launched a multilateral task force to counter terrorism, violent extremism and transnational crime. But the new force and others like it largely mistake symptoms for causes.
In defending themselves from foreign interference, Western countries currently tend to look at all the tools used to pursue it in isolation. In order to effectively defend themselves, however, Western governments ought to see all the tools of foreign interference as elements of a strategic continuum, requiring a holistic response.
Brussels has been rocked this week by the biggest corruption scandal to hit the city in decades, with several people arrested as part of a probe into suspected bribery of European Parliament officials by a Gulf state. Amid all the fevered speculation, the biggest question on the minds of many now is: Who will be next to be implicated?
Even as both sides in Ethiopia implement the first steps of a peace accord, the impact of its civil war can be seen in regional and international responses to other conflicts in Africa. That could presage deep changes in how the West engages with African security issues, and the distribution of roles in addressing them.
War is hell, but for large and politically influential defense contractors, it is also good business. This is fueling claims among some NATO allies that the U.S. is profiting from the war in Ukraine. There is no denying that U.S. defense contractors are benefiting, but accusations of war profiteering are simply off base.
Senior officials in the European Commission are seething at the national governments on the EU Council for what they view as caving to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s threat to veto aid to Ukraine amid the EU’s long-running dispute with Budapest over its failure to uphold democratic institutions.
This past June marked a milestone in trans-Atlantic energy relations: For the first time, the European Union bought more natural gas from the United States than from Russia. In some ways, this was a positive development for both sides. The EU, however, is also discovering that the U.S. is a strange energy superpower to partner with.
Tensions over the war in Ukraine have relaxed since the U.S. midterm congressional elections but could ramp up again if Europe continues to fall behind the U.S. when it comes to providing financial and military support for Kyiv. Europe cannot afford a rift on this issue while Ukraine’s–and its own—security is on the line.
French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington this week for an official state visit to the United States. While the visit comes at a pivotal moment in the bilateral relationship, many European observers are paying attention to the areas of divergence over issues related to trade and Western unity as the war in Ukraine drags on.
After an inauspicious start, 2022 has been a year of low-key but surprisingly successful muddling through for multilateralism. While the war in Ukraine had the potential to throw international institutions into disarray, overall these institutions weathered the storm in better shape than seemed imaginable shortly after the invasion.
This week, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gave a speech that some commentators took as evidence that Sunak intends to soften London’s stance toward China. In reality, domestic politics and international events are unlikely to permit major changes to one of the most controversial aspects of British foreign policy.