European Union

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.

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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.

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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.

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2021: Relaunch of the European Union and Estonia

We were lucky that it was Germany’s turn to seek a common position among the 27 countries of the European Union in the second half of 2020, leaving behind a year of an entirely new kind of crisis in the history of the Union with few political wounds. By comparison, the Estonian presidency of the European Council in 2017, confused by the Brexit turmoil, seems like a walk in the park.

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European Internal Security Interests After Brexit

The EU’s approach to a post-Brexit security partnership with the UK is intended to address common concerns, such as the fight against terrorism and the spread of cross-border organised crime. A continuing mutual interest in enhanced operational co-operation in internal security and cross-border law enforcement, means that separate EU-UK agreements will need to be developed.

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