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  Borders in the Fergana Valley: an inevitable source of conflict?

Fabio Belafatti, Coordinator of the Centre of Contemporary Central Asian Studies (Vilnius University, Oriental Studies Centre) and lecturer of Central Asian Politics
2014 02 03

The Fergana Valley, a fertile region at the heart of Central Asia split between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, has long been the focus of research that stresses the multiple security threats originating from and developing within the region. Among them, border issues and the problems of enclaves are constantly regarded as a highly destabilizing factor. Recent clashes at the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have highlighted the issue once more, but one should carefully consider all factors before reaching simplistic conclusions about the valley’s security threats.

  Kiev‘s Maidan celebrated the New Year. What‘s next?

Aušra Radzevičiūtė-Kornelija Bradaitė
2014 01 27

According to Wikipedia, „a revolution“ is complete change in the content of the governmental policy, and its classical example is French Revolution (1789-1799) which resulted in the overthrow the absolute monarch Louis XVI. The above definition could also be used nowadays. Unfortunately, after the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and changes of Egypt government, a „new life“ in these countries didn‘t last long.

  How Should the European Union React to Moscow’s Pressure on Ukraine?

Mykhailo Honchar, NOMOS Centre
2014 01 27

Considering the new developments in relations between the EU and Ukraine over the past weeks, and given Russia’s destructive role regarding the Association Agreement, Brussels needs to take action

  European Union against Gazprom‘s South Stream

Aušra Radzevičiūtė-Kornelija Bradaitė
2014 01 21

Russia‘se pipeline project South Stream encountered serious legal problems: according to the European Commission, all pipeline agreements signed with the EU Member States contradict the provisions of the Third Energy Package of the EU stipulating that one company cannot simultaneously own production capacity and its transmission networks.

  Water: Central Asia’s key issue (1)

Fabio Belafatti, Coordinator of the Centre of Contemporary Central Asian Studies (Vilnius University, Oriental Studies Centre) and lecturer of Central Asian Politics
2014 01 20

Water management is the main obstacle to regional cooperation in Central Asia. The issue has its roots in the way Stalin split Central Asia, which resulted in concentration of water sources in politically weak upstream countries (Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan), while downstream countries (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan) try to prevent attempts to decrease the flow of water needed for their agriculture. The issue is complex because Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan desperately need to exploit their huge hydroelectric potential and the best way to do so is to build dams on the very same rivers that provide water to downstream countries.

  Negotiations in Geneva: No Winners Or Losers Yet

Viktor Denisenko
2014 01 14

After intensive negotiations, at the end of November negotiators in Geneva have reached deal on Iran‘s nuclear programme. Ten years effort was evaluated by many as a breakthrough, yet there are no winners or losers in Geneva.  

  Is Tiahnybok a Patriot? How the Spread of Banderite Slogans and Symbols Undermines Ukrainian Nation-Building

By Andreas Umland
2014 01 06

Writing about the various implications of Ukraine’s divided historical memory for the conduct of her post-Soviet politics is a thankless task. Ukraine’s nationalist intelligentsia’s response to voicing the most elementary facts on, and assessments of, the corroding role of the promotion of World War II themes for Ukrainian state-building is always the same: Kill the messenger! It is less important what is said and for which purpose...

  Chinese engagement in Central Asia: logic and impact

Fabio Belafatti, Coordinator of the Centre of Contemporary Central Asian Studies (Vilnius University, Oriental Studies Centre) and lecturer of Central Asian Politics
2013 12 30

Over the past years, China’s role in Central Asia has considerably strengthened, making Beijing the main trade partner for the five post-Soviet Central Asian republics. China frames its Central Asian strategy in eminently economic terms: Chinese investments provide development to regions otherwise left behind and might seem the best guarantee of stability for the region. Once-empty markets are now filled with Chinese goods and infrastructures are being built in what seems to be a purely positive, win-win game. Yet things may not be as simple as they look.

  Abolishing the Office of the President of Ukraine

By Andreas Umland
2013 12 23

Why and how the Ukrainian political system should be changed

The violent clashes on Kyiv’s streets and inadequate responses by the authorities are undermining the legitimacy of all Ukrainian governmental institutions – first and foremost of the presidency. One way to lower the current tensions in Ukraine is to finally accomplish an already long-ago recommended major constitutional amendment – the switch from a semi-presidential to a purely parliamentary republic. Such a change at this point in time could ensure to everybody that the future will be different from the difficult present.

  The Eastern Partnership: the Summit is Over. What‘s Next?

Vadim Volovoj, Doctor in Political Sciences
2013 12 16

Recently one could hear quite many statements that European Union Eastern partnership (EP) Programme is ineffective and has no future. Yet Ukraine‘s approach toward the Association Agreement demonstrated that the EP initiative has proved successful.

  Kyrgyzstan: between democracy, informal politics and external pressures

Fabio Belafatti, Coordinator of the Centre of Contemporary Central Asian Studies (Vilnius University, Oriental Studies Centre) and lecturer of Central Asian Politics
2013 12 02

Almost all Central Asian countries experience a lack of political alternative, with Soviet leaderships mostly managing to remain in control well after independence. The only exception is Kyrgyzstan, where popular upheavals have removed two presidents in eight years: Askar Akaev in 2005 and Kurmanbek Bakiyev in 2010. The country now struggles to find a new path that will secure stability and more accountability.

  The West and the Evolving Russian-Ukrainian Trade War: Why the EU and US Should Get Involved A.S.A.P.

By Andreas Umland
2013 11 27

Largely unnoticed in Western mass media, there is currently a major economic and political confrontation growing in Eastern Europe that could shatter the post-Cold War European security architecture. The Kremlin has taken a surprisingly adversarial view of Ukraine’s intention to sign a far-reaching Association Agreement with the European Union. The conclusion of this historic treaty could happen as soon as the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius later this month, or may happen some time, in 2014. Through provisional application, large parts of this so far uniquely comprehensive contract would go into force soon after the signature, before the Agreement is ratified by the 28 EU member states.

  After the Russian March: Reflections on Nationalism in Russia – An Interview for the Valdai International Discussion Club

By Andreas Umland
2013 11 27

The Russian March has long since become the main event of Russia’s National Unity Day celebrations. Andreas Umland, renowned political scientist and Valdai club expert, shares his views about the place of the Russian March on the socio-political stage and the specific features of nationalism in Russia.

  Border policy: government arguments and real effects

Justina Poškevičiūtė, political commentator
2013 11 26

The Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989 but there are still a number of border/barrier systems around the globe, including the newly erected walls. Let‘s analyse the four of them.

  Latvia: Out of the Crisis

Aušra Radzevičiūtė-Kornelija Bradaitė
2013 11 19

Among the three Baltic States, Latvia has suffered most from the recession, but last year the country‘s GDP increased by 5,6 percent (Lithuanian and Estonian by 3,7 and 3,3 percent respectively). Some economists still cannot believe that Latvia managed to cope with the crisis and refer to this recovery as a „miracle“.

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Ukraine has filed a lawsuit against Russia in the International Court of Justice for terrorism and racism (41)

2017 01 19

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine filed a lawsuit in the UN International Court of Justice against Russia within the framework of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, says the site of the Foreign Minister. This is done on the instructions of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, issued on 16 January.

National Armed Forces (NAF) of Latvia will deploy additional military units in three cities (67)

2017 01 18

For effective complex defence of Latvia, the establishment of a permanent division of the National Armed Forces has started in Latgale, reported the official website of the Ministry of Defence.


In Lithuania the amount of 110 thousand Euros was collected at a concert in support of the ATO fighters and residents of Donbass (23)

2017 01 17

On 13 January a concert "Together to the victory" was held in Lithuania, where the audience decided to support Ukraine's defence and donated 110 thousand Euros.


Belarus has established a visa-free regime for citizens of 80 countries (2)

2017 01 10

Alexander Lukashenko on 9 January signed a decree № 8 "On the establishment of visa-free entry and exit of foreign nationals." The document establishes visa-free entry to Belarus for a period not exceeding 5 days at the entrance through the checkpoint "National Airport Minsk" for citizens of 80 countries, - reported the press service of the President of Belarus.

The European Parliament approved the recall of visas for citizens of Ukraine and Georgia (3)

2016 12 19


The European Parliament approved the granting of a visa-free regime for short-term trips to the citizens of Ukraine and Georgia, RIA Novosti reported.


The US House of Representatives approved actions against the influence of Russia

2016 12 08

The US House of Representatives approved a bill on establishing an inter-departmental body, the purpose of which would be to resist Russian attempts of "influencing the people and the governments" of other countries, - reported the Associated Press.

Alexander Parkhomenko. The pro-Russian (not already) President of Moldova, who was seated by the Russian Federation, stated about the way towards the EU

2016 12 02

"I back up": networks got surprised with the unexpected statement of the pro-Russian President Dodon about the EU.

The newly elected president of Moldova Igor Dodon, known for his pro-Russian views, stated that his country is not going to refuse from the cooperation with the European Union.


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