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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will be launched irrespective of the US sanctions. Envisaged by the draft US defense budget for the 2020 fiscal year, the restrictions have already run into an adverse reaction in Europe and could further aggravate Washington’s relations with major European capitals, first of all, with Berlin.
With the export leg of the Turkish Stream (TurkStream) gas pipeline, designed to bring Russian natural gas along the Balkan route further to Europe, slated to go fully on-stream in late 2020 - early 2021, all transit countries need to timely fulfill their obligations to get their national gas transportation infrastructure prepared for this. Thus far, Serbia has moved closest to achieving this target, while Bulgaria’s position on this issue is causing a growing sense of bewilderment in Russia, which might be forced to change the pipeline’s route and replace its Bulgarian section with a Romanian one as a transit option.​
  • Category: Experts |
  • Date: 13-12-2019, 12:59
  • Views: 506
In late November, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a number of rather controversial statements. On November 26, Germany, together with France, issued a brief “road map” for EU reform. Within the next two ears this plan is to be discussed by the “Conference on the Future of Europe,” tasked with working out proposals and drawing up a strategy for “structural reforms” aimed at making the European Union “more united and sovereign.”
At the end of September, the EU and Japan signed an agreement designed to add a new dimension to these two global economic powerhouses’ joint effort in the field of transport, energy and digital technology. This expansion of ties between the Old World and Japan is seen by Western media as a counterweight to, and even a pushback against China’s One Belt, One Road mega-project. What are the prospects of various projects dealing with the ongoing competition between transport corridors in Eurasia?
  • Category: Experts |
  • Date: 30-11-2019, 10:36
  • Views: 357
The European Union is set to radically re-consider its enlargement strategy. This could somewhat soften the criticism coming from the eurosceptics who are dissatisfied with the backlog of political and economic “gaps” within the EU. On the other hand, the Balkan states, which have become disillusioned over the prospective outcomes of their entry into the EU, could, in turn, re-direct their own policies towards strengthening cooperation with other globalplayers, including Russia.
  • Category: Experts |
  • Date: 22-11-2019, 13:03
  • Views: 296
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will attempt to negotiate a new deal with the EU on Brexit in the course of early parliamentary elections in the UK scheduled for December 12. If the Conservatives take upper hand, then, according to Johnson, Great Britain will leave the EU no later than January 31. How will the upcoming elections affect Brexit? How Boris Johnson’s agreement with the European Commission could be assessed? The answers to these questions were provided by the participants in an expert discussion at the Valdai Club.
  • Category: Experts |
  • Date: 14-11-2019, 12:21
  • Views: 386
The approval of the make-up of the European Commission is stalling - quite unexpectedly for most politicians and experts in Europe. In October, members of the European Parliament (EP) rejected three candidates for the Commission who had been put forward by its new Chairperson, Ursula von der Leyen. Approval was denied to representatives of France, Romania and Hungary. The official reason in all cases is “conflict of interests”. What happened will “only” delay the coming into power of the new European Commission, most likely, until December 1. A number of EU states have been expressing concern over an ever increasing politicization” of the EP.
  • Category: Analytics |
  • Date: 11-11-2019, 11:02
  • Views: 413
Members of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia) are set on expanding cooperation with India. That such cooperation is of mutual interest was confirmed by Indian Foreign Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar’s visit to Hungary and Poland in August. Hungary and Poland pursue the most active foreign policy within the Visegrad Four.​
The European Union is going through a serious internal crisis over the prospects of its further expansion, with the main line of confrontation running between Paris and Berlin. On October 15, France, backed by Denmark and the Netherlands, blocked the EU's decision to start negotiations concerning the admission of Albania and Northern Macedonia. Germany and other EU members opposed the move as unfounded, citing previous decisions by the European Commission.​
France expects to play a prominent role in Europe. A statement to this effect was made by French Ambassador to Russia, Sylvie-Agnes Bermann. A meeting with European leaders, which will be held in the Norman format in November, is set to "re-evaluate the relations" between Europe and Russia, the diplomat said.
  • Category: Experts |
  • Date: 17-10-2019, 12:26
  • Views: 321