Sunday’s Belarus election may yield no surprises, but it’s an apt occasion on which to observe and appreciate the president’s skilful handling of his country’s relations with rival powers in a tense period of history
Russia had no interest in intervening in Greece’s quarrel with its Western creditors, or in doing anything to further increase the international disorganisation that is damaging its economic interests.
At least, the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga on 21-22 May did not pave the way for another armed conflict on the European continent as did the summit of Vilnius in December 2013. But the results are a world away of the hopes that have been pined on it.
The sacking of oligarch governor Igor Kolomoisky by president Poroshenko on 24 March, followed next day by the arrest of the head of the Ukrainian State Emergencies Service, Serhiy Bochkovsky, and his deputy, Vasyl Stoyetsky, opens a new front in Ukraine. NEW
Independence is still not the word to apply to the member countries of the former Soviet space. All suffer in different degrees from the crisis affecting Russia because of Western sanctions, aggravated by he fact that their economies are even less diversified than Russia’s and their populations more restless.
The shocking murder of Russian oppositionist Boris Nemtsov has given unexpected significance to what was to have been a day of anti-government protest, and is now officially one of mourning, in central Moscow. Any thought of the possible consequences must start with a look at the attempt of the ‘opposition’ to regain momentum a year of being sidelined by events in Ukraine.