• Fighting Georgia’s draconian anti-drug law

    While legalisation of marijuana in Georgia is strongly resisted by the Orthodox Church and the ruling Georgian Dream party, as a result of social protests and public pressure, the government is beginning to approach possession of small amounts of cannabis in a more benign way. 

  • Wilne – a walk through the Jewish Vilnius

    Hebrew and Yiddish commemorative plaques, statues and busts, an active synagogue, stumbling blocks to remember those who died – when walking down the Vilnius streets, one cannot escape the city’s Jewish history.

  • Georgia’s options at the Abkhaz border

    While Trump’s first moves as president hangs perilously over Georgia, Tbilisi would be better off to keep Abkhazia open to the outside world before Georgia loses more than it bargained for.

  • The Decline and Fall of The European Empire

    Just like the Roman Empire, the European Union is becoming weaker and weaker at its borders. Confusion in Europe is reflected in domestic Ukrainian politics - rotten and forgotten.

  • Helping Ukraine help itself

    Ukraine is undergoing radical transformations, though reforms are stalling, and the conflict in Donbas is still costing many casualties among civilians and the military. The window of opportunity for reforms in Ukraine may soon close, provoking a great dissatisfaction in the West.

  • Armenia in Transition: A turning or a tipping point?

    Despite some sense of optimism, the appointment of Karen Karapetyan as Armenia's new prime minister should not be seen as a sign of reform. The change of political personalities does not infer any substantive shift in policies, which means that the country’s fundamental problems remain unaddressed. 

  • Poland and Germany: Progress despite expectations

    Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Poland last week indicated a willingness to make things work at last despite different opinions, an exploratory consultation prior to the upcoming EU summits of 2017, mainly the Rome summit in March, where the roadmap for post-Brexit will be discussed. 

  • What should be the West's strategy in Ukraine?

    To conduct a successful Ukrainian policy, the West has treat Ukraine as an adult, not a child. Today the West chides and reproaches, makes threatening gestures at times, but in the end forgives the pranks and gives a candy. Adults sign contracts and demand their fulfilment. This would be a much more rewarding strategy.

  • The collapse of pre-election sociology: A view from Russia

    The birth and death of political sociology is strongly connected with presidential elections in the United States. But public opinion surveys in Russia might get a second chance. It will not help in accurately predicting election results, but it may help to shape a better picture of where the country is heading.

  • Azerbaijan-Europe cooperation: Towards a deeper dialogue

    Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev visited Belgium at the invitation of the President of the European Council Donald Tusk to discuss prospects for greater cooperation and the main priorities of the EU in the South Caucasus.

  • Like thieves in the night

    On the night of January 31st 2017 the Romanian government defiantly passed the ill-fated Ordinance 13, decriminalising certain instances of office misconduct, despite previous criticism from the public, the media and legal experts. People immediately took to the streets to protest both the document and the way in which it was adopted.

  • Crimea’s water troubles

    Pervomaisk district is entirely dependent on boreholes for drinking water and, until 2014, on irrigation for agriculture with water from the Dnipro river flowing through Ukraine. After the annexation of Crimea, Ukraine abruptly dammed Dnipro water.

  • Kissinger’s edict on Crimea

    Having said that Crimea should be accepted as part of Russia, Henry Kissinger has treated the peninsula as as terra nullius, a void or empty land, displaying a frame of mind much reflected in the old Papal Bulls.

  • Israel, Iran and the US interest in South Caucasus

    As long as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not resolved, the US position in the region does not look promising. A weaker US role leaves a gap in the region, which serves the interests of other actors. 

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