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  Missed opportunities: elections in Tajikistan, regional stability and lack of alternatives in Central Asia

Fabio Belafatti, Coordinator of the Centre of Contemporary Central Asian Studies (Vilnius University, Oriental Studies Centre) and lecturer of Central Asian Politics
2013 11 18

As most of the Tajiks expected, the results of the presidential elections[1] that took place in Tajikistan on Nov. 6th have once again confirmed Emomali Rahmon as president. His victory, widely anticipated by analysts and observers, reconfirms the authoritarian nature of the Tajik political system and marks a further step away from dialogue with the opposition. Given the current international context, this could prove to be a missed opportunity with reverberating negative effects for regional stability.

  Elections in Tajikistan: an unexpected path to a predictable outcome

Fabio Belafatti, Coordinator of the Centre of Contemporary Central Asian Studies (Vilnius University, Oriental Studies Centre) and lecturer of Central Asian Politics
2013 11 08

The citizens of Tajikistan, one of the five post-Soviet republics of Central Asia, will vote to renew a seven-year long presidential mandate on Nov. 6th. Although the country has never had an election deemed free and fair by international observers[1] and president Emomali Rahmon (de-facto in power since 1992) is widely expected to be re-elected, this year’s electoral campaign had some unexpected twists that deserve in-depth analysis.

  Kazakhstan’s “miracle” in perspective: achievements and contradictions (part II)

Fabio Belafatti, Coordinator of the Centre of Contemporary Central Asian Studies (Vilnius University, Oriental Studies Centre) and lecturer of Central Asian Politics
2013 10 28

Besides the political factors analysed in the first part of this article, there is a range of socio-economic issues that needs to be taken into account when looking at Kazakhstan’s “miracle” in order to assess it in an objective way.

  German-Russian business cooperation: what consequences for Eastern Europe?

Andreas Umland, Dr. phil., Ph. D.
2013 10 24

Germany's trade, financial and investment policies towards Russia, notably on the issue of natural gas, have contributed to re-shaping the post-Soviet Eastern European geo-economic landscape. As a result, Ukraine could become a hostage of Berlin’s recent Ostpolitik in the possible case that the tensions between Moscow and Kyiv further increase.

  Catalonian Independence: a challenge for the EU

Inga Popovaitë, political commentator
2013 10 21

In the middle of September the Baltic Way has been repeated by the Sovereignty-seeking Catalans from the Northern Spain. Their motto was: „Catalonia, a New European State“. Is their ambition realistic?

  Kazakhstan’s “miracle” in perspective: achievements and contradictions (I)

Fabio Belafatti, Coordinator of the Centre of Contemporary Central Asian Studies (Vilnius University, Oriental Studies Centre) and lecturer of Central Asian Politics
2013 10 18

In recent years, coverage of Kazakhstan (Central Asia’s largest country and economy) on Western mainstream media has significantly increased, hand in hand with the economic growth that made the country one of the most dynamic economies in the FSU. This increased interest can be ascribed both to the undeniably impressive economic performance of the country and to a consistent PR effort from Kazakhstan itself, aimed to present the country as a unique example of economic success achieved by means of an “enlightened”, paternalistic authoritarian governance.

  e-Estonia: the leader of timely and appropriate strategies

Vaiva Sapetkaitë, Institute of International Relations and Political Science Vilnius University
2013 10 15

Estonia is considered to be the most successful of the Baltic States: the majority of the country’s economic, social and other indicators are higher compared to Latvian and Lithuanian indicators: in Estonia GDP per capita is 12,7 thousand EUR, in Lithuania – 11,2 thousand Euros; the average monthly gross wage is 916 EUR and 646 EUR respectively; the retirement pension - 312,9 and 236,5 EUR respectively. The income level is also higher in Estonia.  

  Globalisation: fear has big eyes

Viktor Denisenko
2013 09 23

Some people fear globalisation, the others argue that globalisation is a positive development. This process occurs in different spheres of political, social and cultural life, and its main features are: international convergence, free movement of people around the globe and increased speed of life.

  China: transformation of „factory“

Brigita Kupstaitytë
2013 09 16

China has been constantly increasing its economic and political influence; it is the second largest economy in the world, and „Made in China“ has become part of our daily lives. Without any doubt, China has also been affected by the global economic recession and its export-based light industry was one of the hardest-hit economic sectors. According to the preliminary estimations, during the crisis about 20 million Chinese citizens might have lost their jobs.

  New Extremely Right-Wing Intellectual Circles in Russia (II)

Andreas Umland, Kiev
2013 08 16

Prokhanov’s Isborsk Club

A project that is so far less well known – although it has a similar ideology – but has a broader political appeal and may be more persistent, is the Isborsky klub,  named after the place of its first meeting, the city of Isborsk in Pskov Oblast in northwestern Russia...

  New Extremely Right-Wing Intellectual Circles in Russia (I)

Andreas Umland, Kiev
2013 08 16

The Anti-Orange Committee, the Isborsk Club and the Florian Geyer Club

Abstract: Some recent publications on Russian nationalism focus on various extra-systemic right-wing radicals and their links to the new urban protest movement in the RF. However, developments in the intra-systemic ultra-nationalism of Putin’s regime are at least as important. This article examines some of the new, extremely anti-Western intellectual circles that have emerged during the past two years in Russia...

  The Meaning of Tymoshenko’s Case for the EU: Will Brussels Sign an Association Agreement with Ukraine?

Andreas Umland
2013 08 13

For two years now, Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has been in prison, and the European Union has constantly demanded her release. While the former prime minister’s name is not mentioned in all of Brussels’s statements, it is clear that her discharge is a necessary prerequisite for signing the Association Agreement. Why has the EU set such a condition for concluding this historic agreement, and what role does the Tymoshenko case play?

  Croatia‘s membership in the EU: more doubts than guarantees

Inga Popovaitë, political commentator
2013 08 12

On 1 July Croatia has become the 28th member of the EU. Will this membership bring joy and happiness? And was it worth the effort?  

  A competitive presidential election race is taking shape in Georgia

Inga Popovaitë, political commentator
2013 07 22

Georgia is preparing for the presidential elections to be held in October. The new Constitution will come into force after Mikheil Saakashvili’s second and last presidential term(Saakashvili is not eligible to run). Under constitutional changes the prime minister will gain additional powers to rival those of the president. This time the race will be not between one strong party and fragmented opposition but between two equal political powers and several marginal parties.

  Will Brussels Miss a Historic Moment in Europe’s Integration?

Andreas Umland
2013 06 12

During the Upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit at Vilnius, the EU Should Provide Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with an Official Membership Perspective

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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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