As the Bundeswehr continues to languish and Berlin prepares to join larger European defense initiatives, the issue of defense spending will undoubtedly continue to test the unity of the CDU-SPD coalition government.Read More
Russian Patriarch Kirill Makes First Visit to Muslim Majority Albania: Symbolism in the Orthodox Church
Corruption, Embassies, and Jerusalem: Romanian Officials Face Backlash After Controversial Visit to Israel
Overstepping his Constitutional responsibilities, leading member of the dominant Romanian Social Democratic Party (SDP) and top Romanian politician, Liviu Dragnea, recently announced the Balkan nation’s intentions to transfer its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. In an effort to follow American steps, Dragnea has sparked deep internal discord with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital.Read More
After 11 days of street protests by anti-government demonstrators, Prime Minister of Armenia Serzh Sarksyan has announced his resignation. President of Armenia Armen Sarkysan (of no relation to the embattled prime minister) accepted the resignation on Apr. 23 while the governing coalition named Karen Karapetyan — First Deputy Prime Minister and a close ally of Serzh Sarkysan — the acting prime minister until a new candidate is elected by the Armenian parliament.Read More
Serbia has banned Croatia’s Defense Minister, Damir Krsticevic, from entering the country in response to Croatia’s announcement last week that effectively barred Serbia’s Defense Minister, Aleksandar Vulin, from entering the country to attend a Serb-organized World War Two commemoration ceremony held in Croatia. This tit-for-tat move signals a new low-point in relations between the two former Yugoslav republics, who fought one another during the implosion of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
In January of 2017, Finland ventured into a largely unexplored welfare policy realm - universal basic income. Praised as cutting edge, this program was the first national government-supported experiment in universal basic income. The world has waited to see the results. However, on Monday, Finland’s government refused to extend or expand the program. The experiment will come to an end in January 2019.Read More
After a striking hit to the global aluminum and metal markets, the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control is considering loosening the sanctions it imposed earlier this April on Russian aluminum conglomerate Rusal, suggesting that easing of sanctions is attached to the stipulation that the company’s head, Oleg Deripaska, a Putin-entangled Russian oligarch, would cede control of the organization before it may be reintegrated into conducting complete business transactions with the U.S.
Prime Minister of Armenia Serzh Sarksyan announced his resignation after 11 days of street protests by anti-government demonstrators.Read More
Armenia faces a deepening political crisis as demonstrators and opposition leaders take to the streets to protest the election of former President Serzh Sarksyan as Prime Minister of Armenia.
After an alleged chemical weapons strike on April 7th in the Syrian city of Douma, Russian forces will finally permit inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to visit the site of attack this week. After online claims and confusion surrounding possible fabrication and staging, the delay in admittance aroused international concern that this time lapse alludes to possible Russian tampering and interference with the scene of the incident.Read More
The future of a new gas pipeline project linking Russia to Germany appears to be in jeopardy after Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, stated that the “Nord Stream 2 project is not possible without clarity on the future transit role of Ukraine” for natural gas shipped between Russia and Europe. Chancellor Merkel’s statement, delivered at a joint news conference with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on Apr. 10, 2018, is a reversal from her earlier position on the pipeline, which portrayed the project as “primarily a business venture driven by private investors.”Read More
Following the April 8th Hungarian national election, incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Orban secured a surprising majority victory for himself in reclaiming his seat as the head of the government under the banner of his party Fidesz. Ringing in his third consecutive term, Orban posits himself as another steadfast figure in the sweeping trend of nationalistic populism overtaking many democracies across the North Atlantic region.Read More
On Tuesday, April 4, US President Donald Trump hosted a US-Baltic Presidential Summit. Latvia’s President Raimonds Vejonis, Estonia’s President Kersti Kaljulaid, and Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite met with Trump to recognize 100 years of Baltic independence and discuss three major points: energy independence from Russia, economic cooperation, and defense spending. Their meeting was followed by a joint press conference.Read More
The ‘Besieged Russian Fortress’ Retaliates: Closure of U.S. Consulate and Expulsion of Diplomats from 23 Countries
In retaliation against the recent expulsion of Russian diplomats from numerous Western countries, the Kremlin has announced the closure of the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg and the expulsion of 60 U.S. diplomats from the country by April 5th. Following this statement, 59 diplomats from 23 other nations were also expelled from Russia in disavowal by the Kremlin of their collaborative action taken to remove Russian diplomats from their nations.Read More
The Russian Federation has announced plans to test naval-launched missiles in the Republic of Latvia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Baltic Sea. The “sudden” announcement by Moscow on Mar. 29, 2018, has drawn protest from the highest levels of Latvia’s government, with President of Latvia Raimonds Vejonis calling the move likely to “worsen the security situation in the region.”Read More
Poland signed a deal with the U.S. Wednesday to buy a Patriot anti-missile system for $4.75 billion.Read More