Nieuws

Poetin als “gamechanger” voor de Europese verkiezingen

De Europese verkiezingen staan voor de deur en partijen en media lopen zich warm. Vijf jaar geleden werd een simpele tegenstelling: ‘wil je meer of minder EU’ het centrale thema van de verkiezingen en was er een zoektocht gaande naar een nieuw Europees verhaal. Daar hadden vooral de genuanceerde middenpartijen het moeilijk mee en de flankpartijen profiteerden. Dit keer zal het anders gaan, omdat onze relatie tot de EU veel complexer is geworden en omdat Vladimir Poetin onze aloude motivatie om samen te werken nieuw leven heeft ingeblazen.

NATO strengthens defenses against Russia

Yesterday, 1 April, NATO members ordered military commanders to draw up plans for reinforcing NATO’s defenses to shore up confidence among the Eastern European members, including the Baltic States and Poland. Also, all civilian and military cooperation with Russia is suspended. Foreign Ministers of the 28 NATO members gathered in Brussels for the first time since the Russian annexation of Crimea.

Solidariteitsboodschap naar de Russische Yabloko

De PvdA en de Foundation Max van der Stoel hebben een solidariteitsboodschap gezonden naar de Russische Verenigde Democratische Partij Yabloko. Aanleiding hiervoor was de arrestatie van Evgeny Vitishko, een lid van de actiegroepering Environmental Watch on North Causcasus (EWNC).

Moldova fears Russia intervention

At a meeting of the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, Member of the European Parliament Monica Macovei said Moldova should sign the political part of the Association Agreement with Europe first. Macovei, who is the co-chairwoman of the committee on behalf of the EU, responded to fears for Russian aggression in the region on Tuesday 25 March. Moldova has sounded the alarm on Russian pressure on the government coalition in response to its European-integration agenda.

Ukraine and EU sign part of the Association Agreement

Today, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk signed the political part of the Association Agreement. An Association Agreement is EU's main instrument to bring the countries in the Eastern Partnership closer to EU standards and norms. It comprises four general chapters: Common Foreign and Security Policy; Justice and Home Affairs; the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA); and a fourth chapter covering a range of issues including the environment, science, transportation, and education. The trade part of the EU accord, which is the bulk of the treaty, is to be signed after May.

Crimean parliament votes to join Russia

The parliament of Ukraine’s southern region, Crimea, has voted unanimously in favor of joining Russia. The vote coincided with an announcement that a referendum on Crimea's status was being brought forward to March 16. The question to be put to voters will be whether their region should enjoy autonomy within Ukraine or join Russia.

Tensions rise over Crimea

Approximately 60 armed men seized control over the parliament building in the Ukrainian region of Crimea. The men are thought to be pro-Russian and have raised the Russian flag over the government buildings and put up a sign saying “Crimea is Russia”. Local government officials are said to negotiate with the gunman and have sealed off the area. The move came amidst growing concerns of separatism on the overwhelmingly pro-Russian peninsula.

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