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  How Referenda Threaten the EU

Stratfor
2016 05 24

Forecast

■ In the coming years, national governments, opposition groups and civil society organizations will increasingly turn to popular votes to decide a broad range of EU-related debates.

■ National governments will probably use referenda (or, more likely, the threat of them) to demand concessions from the European Union, to justify domestic decisions or to increase their own popularity.

■ Votes will take place against a backdrop of growing nationalism and fear of globalization, and the results will likely freeze or reverse the process of EU integration.

 
 
 
  Overview of events in Ukraine for 2016 March 29 –April 10

Algirdas Karijotas
2016 05 16

Foreign policy

The main topic for March 29 – April 10 was the advisory referendum held in the Netherlands which sought to identify the popular support for the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. According to the preliminary results, 38.1% of voters have approved association, while 61.1% spoke against. President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko qualified the referendum as an attack on European unity and stated that the results of the referendum will not disturb Ukraine’s path towards European integration.

 
 
 
  Why Russia Harasses U.S. Aircraft

2016 04 30

Stratfor

Summary

Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, tension with the West has been high, affecting eastern Ukraine, Syria and hot spots across the former Soviet sphere. Less overtly, Moscow has been working to protect areas vital to Russian interests by raising the stakes of U.S. operations there. This has manifested in numerous aggressive interceptions of U.S. military aircraft in flight, especially over the Black and Baltic seas. The interceptions, which are reportedly occurring more frequently, aim to dissuade Washington from operating in that airspace.

 
 
 
  Private Soldiers: How Moscow Masks Its Participation in the Ukrainian and Syrian conflicts

Viktor Denisenko
2016 04 25

In the span of just several years, strategic camouflage became the main tactic of Russia's geopolitical games. For the first time in modern history, it was used during the annexation of Crimea. Today there is no secret that the Russian forces were acting on the Ukrainian territory disguised as self-defense groups” (this fact was acknowledged by Vladimir Putin himself in the propaganda film The Crimea: Way Back Home). Today such games are continued to be played not only in the post-Soviet sphere but in Syria as well.

 
 
 
  How to Fill Ukraine’s Security Vacuum

Andreas Umland
2016 04 15

Ukraine faces a mounting challenge from the East while suffering from a fundamental security vacuum. The country is not embedded in international organizations able to help Kyiv secure the Ukrainian state’s territorial integrity and political sovereignty. What other options than the distant prospect of NATO membership does Ukraine have to fill this vacuum today? The only feasible solution with at least some chance of being realized is to revive an old Polish plan known as Intermarium—a union of the lands between the seas.

 
 
 
  Solving Ukraine’s Security Dilemma

Andreas Umland
2016 04 14

A main reason for the recent escalation of tensions in Eastern Europe is the absence of an effective security structure encompassing such militarily weak countries as Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. While Ukrainian public opinion has recently made a U-turn from a rejection to an embrace of NATO, the Alliance will not be ready to extend its commitments farther east anytime soon. Although future enlargement of the Alliance is possible, Ukraine’s confrontation with Russia as well as Moscow’s anti-Western stance would have to decrease significantly for that to happen. Recently, the opposite tendency was on display: The more aggression the Kremlin has shown, the less likely it is that the North Atlantic Council will open its doors to new members in conflict with Moscow.

 
 
 
  Gratitude for Mass Murder

Andreas Umland
2016 04 01

The Kremlin will be the main winner of a Dutch popular rejection of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

On 6 April 2016, the Netherlands will be holding a national referendum where the Dutch people will be asked speak out for or against the EU’s Association Agreement with Ukraine – a large treaty between Brussels and Kyiv, signed in 2014 and ratified in 2015. For everybody who knows a bit about the EU, the upcoming Dutch plebiscite on this EU-Ukraine contract looks odd...

 
 
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Erdogan accused Russia of supplying arms to the Kurds

2016 05 31

Turkish President Rejep Tayjip Erdogan said that Russia is allegedly supplying weapons to the banned in Turkey Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), reports the newspaper Star.



The Kremlin has warned about the consequences in case of admitting Montenegro into NATO

2016 05 24

The initiative on admitting Montenegro in NATO is fraught with the increased degree of tension on the continent, said Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary of the president. On the eve of the meeting foreign ministers of the NATO member states signed a protocol on the accession of Montenegro.



Vitalyj Kropman. Britain announced the interception of five Russian aircraft

2016 05 20

"The Russian military planes flew without transferring reference identification codes and did not enter into communication with the regional centre for air traffic control", - noted the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom.



The construction of a US missile defence complex has started in Poland

2016 05 12

It is planned that the base will start operating in April 2018.



Lithuania denied entry to Russian bikers

2016 05 10

On Saturday, 7 May, border guards of the Lithuanian town Druskininkai denied entry to Lithuania for three motor-cyclists from Russia, reported Delfi.lt.



The European Commission adopted a decision on visa-free regime with Ukraine - the EC President

2016 04 22

Political decision on liberalizing visa regime with Ukraine and Georgia is taken, as the countries adhere to the necessary criteria.



The US and Israel have imposed a complete ban on the supply of UAVs to Russia

2016 04 20

The US and Israel have imposed a ban on the supply of UAVs to Russia. As it became known, the administration of the White House reacted very negatively to the possible deal between Russia and Israel on the supply of UAVs of military purpose, leading to the repeal of the deal, writes https://www.flightglobal.com/.


 

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