Europe's East

Interview with USAK Expert Ali Bakeer on the Geneva II talks

By Tibor Hargitai, a visiting researcher at USAK

In light of the international efforts to convene the Geneva II meeting next month – aimed at getting all the political actors in Syria, including opposition elements and the Assad government, to the table – USAK's Middle East expert Ali Bakeer was asked about the course that political developments surrounding Syria could take, who are the actors involved, and what roles do they play. READ MORE

France keeps former Georgian police chief in custody

A French court yesterday rejected a former Georgian defence minister's plea to be freed from custody but did not rule on his extradition to his homeland, where he is wanted on corruption charges. READ MORE

Poland's ruling party in 'tape scandal'

Poland's ruling Civic Platform has ruled out another internal election for the leadership of Lower Silesia in spite of vote-fixing allegations in connection with illicitly recorded material. READ MORE

Turkey’s Undersea Marmaray Railway Tunnel Unites Europe, Asia

By John C. K. Daly

Inaugurated on October 29, 2013, the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey, Istanbul’s undersea Marmaray railway tunnel is the world’s first connecting two continents and is designed to withstand earthquakes up to 9.0 on the Richter scale.  READ MORE

Russian-Polish Relations Need A Shot In the Arm


Several years after the Polish presidential plane crash and the initial Russian-Polish rapprochement, the process of reconciliation has visibly stagnated. The Polish opposition accused the government, and the Russians, of having engineered the crash at Smolensk. Prime Minister Tusk got scared and preferred to stay passive in front of the absurd accusations. Moscow rejected even minimal responsibility of the Russian ground controllers in the affair. Apparently trying to keep the investigation suspended so as not to give more ammunition to the Polish opposition, Russia has still not returned the wreckage of the Polish presidential plane to Warsaw. True, there still have been notable achievements such as the agreement allowing for visa-free travel in the border areas, which include Kaliningrad and Gdansk, as well as regular trilateral meetings among the foreign ministers of Russia, Poland, and Germany. Yet, with the Civic Platform doing now badly in the polls, a return of PiS to government after the election two years from now is a distinct possibility.  READ MORE

Georgian PM Scorns Elections His Candidate Won



The billionaire prime minister of Georgia should have been pleased: His candidate swept a presidential election that international observers praised on Monday as a step forward for democracy in this U.S.-aligned former Soviet republic. READ MORE

Big Plans for Greater Europe

The relevance of the concept of Greater Europe, stretching from Iceland and Norway in the north to Turkey in the south, and from Portugal in the west to Russia in the east, and the prospects for this concept becoming reality were discussed by Irina Busygina, Professor at the Moscow International Relations Institute (MGIMO) and RIAC expert, and Dmitry Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Centre in Moscow and RIAC member.


President: Turkey's security interests are paramount

Turkey's interests will be above all in the matter of creating long range missiles, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said, Anadolu agency reported on Thursday. READ MORE

Minister: Georgia is firmly on pro-western track

By Ewald König

If there is consensus on one thing in Georgia, it is the country’s pro-western course of European and trans-Atlantic integration, the Georgian foreign minister Maia Panjikidze told. READ MORE

EU Gives Ukraine Deadline to Free Ex-Premier


By Katya Gorchinskaya

The European Union urged Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych to take steps to free jailed political rival Yulia Tymoshenko if he wants to seal a free-trade and political deal with the EU, setting a deadline of Nov. 18 for "a definitive move." READ MORE