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CRS — NATO: Response to the Crisis in Ukraine and Security Concerns in Central and Eastern Europe (July 31, 2014)

August 14, 2014 Comments off

NATO: Response to the Crisis in Ukraine and Security Concerns in Central and Eastern Europe (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. Department of State Foreign Press Center)

Russia’s actions in Ukraine and its alleged role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 have caused observers and policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic, including Members of Congress, to reassess the role of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in upholding European security. The security concerns of NATO’s Central and Eastern European member states and non-NATO member states such as Moldova and Ukraine are of particular concern.

NATO has strongly condemned Russian actions in Ukraine and has taken steps aimed both at reassuring allies and partners in Central and Eastern Europe and at deterring further Russian aggression. These include demonstrations of support for Ukraine and its territorial integrity; actions to demonstrate NATO’s commitment to defending Central and Eastern European allies; and measures aimed at rebuking Russia. NATO members have said they will continue to conduct previously planned military exercises in Ukraine and elsewhere in the region.

The United States has been a key driver of the NATO response and has taken additional military measures intended to reassure its allies and partners in Central and Eastern Europe. These include the deployment of U.S. fighter jets and 600 paratroopers to Poland and the Baltic states, and U.S. naval vessels to the Black and Baltic Seas. In June, the Obama Administration requested congressional approval for $925 million in the Department of Defense’s FY2015 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget to fund a proposed European Reassurance Initiative (ERI). Among other things, the ERI would enable augmented U.S. troop rotations and military infrastructure in Central and Eastern Europe. The United States has supplied the Ukrainian government with some nonlethal military assistance, but has thus far ruled out providing lethal military aid.

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Leveraging Private Capital and Political Action in the Fight Against Corruption

June 11, 2014 Comments off

Leveraging Private Capital and Political Action in the Fight Against Corruption
Source: Brookings Institution

The collapse of a corruption-ridden government in Ukraine, Russia and Turkey’s attempts to curb social media drives to expose alleged bribery, and ongoing public sector reform initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe all serve to highlight the salience of the World Forum on Governance (WFG) in today’s geopolitical landscape. In April 2014, anti-corruption experts from around the globe convened for the third WFG in Prague to share experiences and exchange best practices for leveraging private capital and political action in the fight against corruption. Delegates represented a diverse blend of investors, scholars, government officials, civil society actors, private sector representatives, and members of traditional and new media.

The 2014 WFG built upon the Ten Principles established in the Prague Declaration on Governance and Anti-Corruption, revisited policy areas detailed in the 2012 Conference Report, and developed new initiatives to advance integrity in the public and private sectors.

Breakout sessions explored a broad scope of governance issues within three streams—public policy, capital, and media and civil society—and reviewed action items from previous convenings…

CRS — Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy (updated)

May 12, 2014 Comments off

Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

After a failed effort to violently disperse pro-European Union protests, the government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych collapsed on February 21, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament approved a new pro-reform, pro-Western government on February 27. New presidential elections are scheduled for May 25. Russia has condemned the new government in Kyiv as illegitimate and responded by sending troops to seize Ukraine’s Crimea region. Ignoring international condemnation, Russian annexed Crimea on March 18. In April and May 2014, armed men seized government buildings in several cities in eastern Ukraine, mainly in the Donbas region. U.S. and Ukrainian officials charge that Russian intelligence officers in Ukraine are coordinating the unrest. U.S. officials have expressed concern that Russia’s efforts to destabilize eastern Ukraine may be the prelude to an invasion by an estimated 40,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders.

CRS — NATO: Response to the Crisis in Ukraine and Security Concerns in Central and Eastern Europe

May 1, 2014 Comments off

NATO: Response to the Crisis in Ukraine and Security Concerns in Central and Eastern Europe (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Russia’s recent military incursions into Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea have caused observers and policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic, including Members of Congress, to reassess the security situation in Europe and the role of the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in upholding European security. The security concerns of NATO’s Central and Eastern European member states and non-NATO member states such as Moldova and Ukraine are of particular concern.

CRS — Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy (updated)

March 28, 2014 Comments off

Ukraine: Current Issues and U.S. Policy (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service

After a failed effort to violently disperse pro-European Union protests, the government of President Viktor Yanukovych collapsed on February 21, 2014. He fled from Kyiv, as did many of his supporters, and protestors took over Kyiv. The Ukrainian parliament approved a new proreform, pro-Western government on February 27. The parliament has scheduled new presidential elections for May 25, 2014. Russia has condemned the new government in Kyiv as illegitimate and responded by sending troops to seize Ukraine’s Crimea region. Ignoring U.S. and international condemnation, Russia annexed Crimea on March 18. Ukrainian officials charge that Russia is also trying to stir unrest in eastern and southern Ukraine, where many Russian-speakers live, perhaps in order to provide a pretext for an invasion of those regions.

Ukraine’s new government faces serious economic problems. Ukraine has long-standing problems in attracting foreign investment, in part due to rampant corruption and other shortcomings in the rule of law. In the near term, the government’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves have raised the prospect of a default on sovereign debt later this year, unless the government can secure new loans quickly.

United Nations Research Guide — Peace & Security: The Situation in Ukraine

March 26, 2014 Comments off

Peace & Security: The Situation in Ukraine
Source: United Nations

This guide provides Security Council documentation, news, and other resources related to the situation in Ukraine.

Categories: Ukraine, United Nations

EU — March 2014 Think Tank Review

March 24, 2014 Comments off

March 2014 Think Tank Review (PDF)
Source: General Secretariat of the Council of the EU (Central Library)

Welcome to issue 11 of the Think Tank Review compiled by the EU Council Library. It references papers published in February 2014. As usual, we provide the link to the full text and a short abstract.

Time and again, developments on the ground in Ukraine catch the world off-guard. While the EU Council and – in this very days – EU Heads of State and Government keep Ukraine at the centre of their deliberations, and despite the risk of offering something obsolete, the TTR this month has a Special focus on Ukraine. A number of papers are (logically) a few weeks behind the times, but we kept those that offered background on, for example, the opposition movements in the country, its track record of integration with the EU, the energy policy implications of the crisis.

Predictably, an alysing the Ukrainian crisis led think tanks to direct some attention to EU – Russia relations, to the Eastern Partnership and indeed to the EU’s political engagement in Central Asia. Still in external relations, we highlight papers ranging from broad geopolitical notions (Eurasia) to micro analyses such as the one on Chinese investment in Greece. Readers interested in specific regions will find references to publications on Switzerland and Syria, the Arab countries and Afghanistan, the Asian Development Bank and the EU – Africa summit.

The papers on energy policy, energy security, nuclear and renewables resonate with climate and energy being on the agenda of the March European Council .

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