European Union

Dialogue with Russia. Russia Needs to Reset Relations with the West.

Moscow’s resurgent foreign policy and the undemocratic rule of President Vladimir Putin ended the relatively friendly relations that had been possible between Russia and the West in the 1990s. In the seven years since Russia annexed Crimea and started a war of attrition against Ukraine, the security situation in the transatlantic region has continuously deteriorated. The Kremlin has demonstrated hostility towards the West, crises and security issues have continued to multiply instead of being resolved, and the risk of outright conflict has come close to Cold War peaks. There is an obvious and urgent need to lower tensions, but Moscow prefers to demonstrate its readiness to escalate.

Read more

Responding to a Dictator’s Stunts: A No-Thrill Flight Without a Destination?

It is quite extraordinary to see a state being rebuffed by Hamas, berated by the Ryanair CEO, admired by a boss of a Russian state propaganda outlet and prompting an immediate response from the EU that goes beyond “deep concern”—all within 36 hours of a major civil aviation incident. Whatever the reaction, we must give it to them: the regime in Minsk played by the “book of rogues” as a deserving and almost exemplary disciple of its big brother in Moscow. Can it be stopped from attempting similar stunts in the future? Probably not, so we will have to be prepared.

Read more

Alexander Stubb: I See the Baltics and the Nordics as One Entity

After seeing the world through the lenses of Finnish politics, experiencing the specifics of Nordic cooperation and shaping the future of the European Union, Alexander Stubb is back in academia. He considers himself a big fan of the Baltics and the Nordics, but not of regionalisation of the European Union, even though he was one of the initiators of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Read more

Hybrid Atoms: Rosatom in Europe and Nuclear Energy in Belarus

In late 2020, Belarus inaugurated the Astravyets Nuclear Power Plant (Astravyets NPP). This facility – funded by the Russian government and built by the Russian state-owned corporation Rosatom – is one that Lithuania considers a threat to its national security. The project has already been causing frictions in the Baltic region that are yet to be resolved; the situation is emblematic of why and how Moscow is advancing its interests by exploiting the nuclear energy aspirations of various countries in Europe.

Read more

Belarus After the Storm: A Time Bomb

With opposition leaders now either imprisoned or fled, president Aleksander Lukashenko of Belarus is facing some tough choices in both the domestic- and foreign-policy theatres. Having lost the support of many Belarusians, infuriating the West and demonstrating weakness to Russia, Lukashenko’s chances of pulling off a peaceful transition of power akin to the “Kazakh scenario” seem challenging.

Read more

The Future of the Eastern Partnership

2020 was a shocking year for the European Union’s eastern partners: the Belarusian authorities have been using systematic violence against peaceful protesters for five months; Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a war over Nagorno-Karabakh at the end of the year; Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have tried to stay more or less on the reform path; and all six were severely ravaged by the coronavirus. At the same time, both the EU and the partner countries have been discussing the development of the Eastern Partnership in its second decade.

Read more