The Russian regime got a bloody nose in local elections last weekend. At the same time, Russia exchanged prisoners with Ukraine and agreed to hold peace talks. Is Russian president Vladimir Putin losing his grip on power and having second thoughts about waging war in Europe? Should the West help the opposition to topple him? Or should it try to make new deals with the Kremlin, as French president Emmanuel Macron is keen to do? "United Russia's campaign across the country was very, very successful," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said after local elections last Sunday (8 September). Putin's political party held on to its majority in most big cities and all 16 of his governor candidates won their posts, he added. But its majority in the Moscow city council plunged from 38 to 25 out of 40. It did even worse in other parts of Russia, such as Khabarovsk and Irkutsk, and it lost half its support in Russia-occupied Crimea in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the party's "success" relied on banning … [Read more...] about [Analysis] How should the EU handle Russia now?
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He is currently serving as Undersecretary for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. REUTERS Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, on Tuesday announced today a number of senior nominations. Among the nominees is Matti Maasikas, who is currently serving as Undersecretary for EU Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, according to the EU External Action press service. Read also EU's sectoral, "Crimea" sanctions against Russia to be prolonged – Zelensky The official has been nominated as Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. He will replace Hugues Mingarelli, who has led the EU Delegation since 2016. The appointment for the top post at the EU Delegation in Ukraine in 2019 is carried out on rotational basis. The new head of delegation will be officially appointed after an agrement has been received. If you see a spelling error on our site, … [Read more...] about Maasikas nominated for top post at EU Delegation to Ukraine
Russia and Italy jointly spoke out against EU sanctions on Moscow in Rome on Thursday (4 July), as Italy's populist rulers seek allies on the world stage to counter French and German power in Europe. "We have confirmed the excellent state of our bilateral relations", Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte told press after meeting Russian president Vladimir Putin in the Italian capital. He noted that Italy was not included in the so-called "Normandy format" - the French and German-led talks with Russia on the Ukraine conflict. But he said Rome was in any case working "to create conditions for overcoming this state of relations between the EU and Russia, which is not good for Russia, nor for the EU nor for Italy, which could otherwise improve our economic and trade relations". Every time the EU extended sanctions on Russia, which it just did for another six months, it made him "sad", Conte added, because this was "not the goal that I would wish for myself, Italy, and Russian our … [Read more...] about Conte to Putin: EU sanctions on Russia make Italy ‘sad’
Maasikas will start his work in Ukraine in the autumn, replacing the current EU envoy Hugues Mingarelli of France, according to Ukrainian portal Evropeiska Pravda.The appointment is a normal rotation unconnected with events in either Ukraine or the recent European elections, the portal says.Both Maasikas and the foreign ministry were unable to comment on the appointment, citing diplomatic practice, ERR's online news in Estonian reports. As a rule, diplomatic appointments would be made public once their nomination has been consented to by the nation they are being appointed to.Maasikas and around 50 other EU representatives would generally be announced by the union's High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.Mogherini and the European External Action Service (EEAS) select EU representatives from the pool off officials and diplomats of all member states.The Russian-language portal of Evropeiska Pravda noted that Maasikas was head of the … [Read more...] about Matti Maasikas new EU Ambassador to Ukraine
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday he hopes that European Union sanctions on Russia will remain in place until Ukrainian territories are returned, according to a statement released on the presidential website. The West imposed sanctions on Russia following Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine. "Thank you for supporting the sanctions policy against Russia and I hope for its continuation until Ukrainian territories are completely returned," Zelenskiy said to visiting Polish and Swedish foreign ministers. … [Read more...] about New Ukraine President Hopes EU Sanctions on Russia Remain