1. The new Crimean authorities were established at gunpoint. Despite Russian rhetoric about a “coup” in Kyiv, the real coup was in Crimea. The Crimean Assembly building was taken over at gunpoint after a seemingly successful rally supporting the authorities in Kiev. Berkut militia, fleeing from their crimes in Kiev, were allegedly involved.
2. This is totally unlike the Russian war in Georgia in 2008. Then, by most accounts, the Georgians were provoked into firing first. Only one Russian citizen has died in the current crisis, and he was shot by snipers in Kyiv.
3. The proposed referendum is against the Ukrainian constitution. Only a national vote can change the country’s borders.
4. The new Crimean “Prime Minister” Sergey Aksionov was a local gangster in the 1990s. His nickname was “goblin”. His Russia Party won only 4 percent at the last elections in Crimea
5. There are
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By a large majority, the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning “the use of armed drones outside the international legal framework” and calling on the European Union to “develop an appropriate policy response at both European and global level.” The Parliament’s call for the EU to adopt a defined position on targeted killing with drones is certainly welcome; it is striking that the EU has not yet made any real effort to develop a common stance on the use of armed drones outside battlefield conditions, despite the widespread concern in Europe over the United States’ use of drones in such circumstances and the likelihood that the proliferation of remotely piloted aircraft will accelerate in coming years. However despite the EP’s resolution there appears to be little momentum for the EU to come up with a more coherent and defined policy on drones and targeted killing in the
The meeting held in Vienna last week between representatives of the E3+3 (Britain, France, Germany, the United States, China, and Russia) and the Islamic Republic of Iran was technically a success. It was the first time the negotiating parties met after a provisional agreement was reached in Geneva last year and was characterized by a positive atmosphere.
Despite the complexity of the negotiations, which, after the implementation of the interim deal in January, will now focus on a comprehensive and final agreement, the three days of talks ended with an action plan and a tight timetable for the next four months. The result was achieved despite fears that the promising developments in recent months could be diverted through interference and pressures by those who, particularly in Washington and Tehran, are against a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue.
In Iran, the nuclear
As economic growth returns to the eurozone, like the first shafts of sunlight after a long Arctic winter, and thousands of demonstrators in Ukraine provide proof that the EU still has magnetism, it seems like a strange time to question the European project.
But at a recent Black Coffee Morning at ECFR's London office, that's exactly what we did. We asked the simple question, "Is the EU doomed?" Two speakers attempted to answer it - Jan Zielonka of Oxford University (and the co-editor of ECFR's "The new political geography of Europe"), and Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times. We recorded the event, and there are a number of ways for you to listen to what happened.
In the first of two short podcasts, Jan Zielonka lays out his thoughts on the question, arguing that there are three good reasons for believing the EU is indeed doomed:
In the second podcast, Gideon Rachman throws
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The last five days have probably been the most dramatic in Ukraine’s post-cold war history. A stand-off between the regime and large segments of society which started in November suddenly escalated on Tuesday, got worse on Thursday and found a dramatic solution – amounting to, effectively, regime change - on Friday. By Saturday, Kyiv had fallen to protesters and regime had fled the capital.
Both domestic developments and EU action contributed to the outcome. Violence shattered the fragile stalemate at home and caused the regime to crumble by Thursday evening. First, the chief of the armed forces refused to use force against the people and was replaced; later, some pro-regime deputies changed sides meaning parliament was then in a position to adopt a law ending the state of emergency. The Foreign Ministry came out with a statement in support of the Association Agreement with the
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On the nature of the reform agenda.
The EU should support the new Ukrainian government.
Relations between China and its neighbours changed dramatically
Qatar's foreign policy after a sudden regime change
A comprehensive assessment of European foreign policy
What Russia will do and how Europe can respond
Why the EU needs to develop a new policy towards Egypt
Formal rules and arbitrary power
Towards a new EU foreign policy
Why Europe needs a new Asia strategy
How sectarian agendas shape the politics of the Middle East