December 2008 - In December 2008, a friend in Bucharest sent me a message quoting a recent statement by an influential political commentator from the Romanian media. This columnist reminds me of the former spokesman for the Polish military junta in the 1980s, who has since become a very successful capitalist: Jerzy Urban. Urban is the editor of the weekly magazine Nie, which irreverently makes fun of everybody. In my mind, Urban is no hero, but is a former Communist Party lackey who turned into the transition's profiteering buffoon. So, I am referring here to somebody who is the equivalent of Urban in Romania, and his name is Ion Cristoiu.
August 2004 - On March 29, 2004, Bulgaria and Romania joined NATO. The Black Sea is now ringed, on one side, by alliance countries and, on the other, by former Soviet states with varying degrees of instability and security problems. As the trans-Atlantic alliance spreads to the east toward the greater Black Sea region, it encounters new neighbors, where both asymmetrical and conventional threats that were previously not of primary concern now loom large. However, at the June 2004 NATO summit in Istanbul, held at the very entrance to the region, no coherent strategy was outlined for the alliance's new neighborhood and only scant mention was made of its immense strategic importance.
These four papers analyze evolving patterns in the Baltics with regard to ethnic relations. The authors examine considerations for Baltic unity, as well as issues specific to the three countries. In Estonia, the author considers the effect of the country's declaration of independence on ethnic and economic stability. Another author discusses issues of nationhood in Latvia in 1993, while the final author examines the role of Russians in Lithuania.
European Studies Senior Associate Nida Gelazis to speak at a book discussion Unfinished Business - "The Western Balkans and the International Community." The event is part of a two-day South East European Economic Forum hosted by Center for Transatlantic Relations SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC.
Critics of American involvement in Kosovo generally charge that the United States has no business entering yet another bloody Balkan quarrel and that, if we did, we would never get out. Such fears are hardly groundless. An intervention undertaken without at least some agreement among the parties about long-term political objectives and without sufficient force to meet likely challenges on the ground could well end up the worst of all outcomes. It might well fail to stop the bloodshed among the parties. It could also produce significant casualties among the intervention troops. Unlike Bosnia in 1995, both sides in Kosovo still have the will to attempt to prevail by force.
When European Commission President José Manuel Barroso visited Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan in mid-January, he might as well have sounded the starting gun in the final sprint to secure Caspian natural gas for European consumers, writes Alexandros Petersen, adviser to the Wilson Center's European Energy Security Initiative.