Finding an interim solution in Crimea should be a priority before any long-term decision is made about the region’s future

The Crimean parliament has voted in favour of the region seceding from Ukraine and joining the Russian Federation. If Russia agrees to this request, it is expected that a referendum will be held in Crimea on 16 March. Tatyana Malyarenko and Stefan Wolff assess opinion polling data in Crimea and write on the potential options for the region’s future. They […]

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The events of recent days mean that Russia now holds all the cards over the secession of Crimea from Ukraine

On Saturday, Russia’s parliament approved the deployment of Russian troops to Ukraine, while a referendum has been called in Crimea to determine the territory’s future. Jim Hughes traces the history behind the current crisis, noting that the situation has its roots in the international management of secession during the 1990s. He argues that while much will depend on the wording […]

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The EU should abandon ‘soft power’ in Ukraine and adopt a new approach focused on geostrategic concerns

Ukraine’s refusal to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union has been seen as a significant blow for the EU’s neighbourhood strategy. André Härtel writes that this failure stems from the EU’s misunderstanding of Ukrainian politics, its inability to act coherently on foreign policy, and its preoccupation with normative aims such as democratisation. He argues that the EU requires […]

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Relaxing the EU’s Common Position on Cuba would allow Europe to play a more active role in shaping the country’s development

Since 1996, the EU’s Common Position on Cuba has made relations with the country contingent on democratic reforms. William M. LeoGrande assesses whether the EU’s current approach requires updating in light of recent developments within Cuba. He writes that with the United States’ influence undermined by years of hostile policies toward the country, a more conciliatory approach could allow Europe […]

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Disagreements over animal rights issues have prevented the EU from gaining full observer status at the Arctic Council

Although analyses of the EU’s external relations have typically focused on regions to the east or south of the continent, the EU has also developed a growing interest in the Arctic. Clive Archer provides an overview of the EU’s involvement in the Arctic, including the recent failure of the EU to gain full observer status at the Arctic Council in […]

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It is far from certain that joining the Eurasian Customs Union would offer Ukraine the kind of benefits being predicted by Russia

Last month, Ukraine opted against signing an Association Agreement with the EU at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius. As Rilka Dragneva and Kataryna Wolczuk write, Ukraine’s decision has raised the possibility of the country joining the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus as an alternative to closer ties with the EU. Assessing the potential benefits the Customs Union […]

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