Michel’s ‘Phone Call with Putin

A ‘phone call between the president of the European Council Charles Michel and president Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation took place yesterday on Thursday January 16, 2020. This was the first contact between Charles Michel, in his capacity as President of the European Council, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The timing was planned so…

EP and Human Rights

At the final plenary of 2019 in Strasbourg last week, the European Parliament has adopted three resolutions taking stock of the human rights situation in Russia, Afghanistan and Burkina Faso. MEPs call on the Russian authorities to immediately repeal the country’s law on ‘foreign agents’ and to bring existing legislation into line with Russia’s constitution…

Russia: EU prolongs economic sanctions by six months

Today, the Council prolonged the economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 July 2020. This decision follows an update by President Macron and Chancellor Merkel to the European Council on 12 December 2019 on the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which the decision on maintaining sanctions is linked. Given that the…

Ukraine’s Nuclear scientists accuse Minister Orzhel of forcing Ukraine’s energy dependence on Russia

Ukraine’s Nuclear Power trade unions show no signs of reducing their protests in Kyiv, and are continuing to demand the resignation of Energy Minister Oleksiy Orzhel and the creation of a new body that controls the nuclear industry. There is a blistering attack and rebuttal on the Energoatom website on the false news published by…

The Sweet Taste of Freedom

I had the pleasure of meeting Roman Suschenko today in the company of his friend and colleague Dmytro Shkurko the Brussels based correspondent for Ukrinform, the national news agency for Ukraine. Roman was in Brussels for a private visit, to brief the European Parliament and officials from the EU institutions about the harsh realities of…

Intelligence report on Russian interference in UK Brexit referendum “may never see the light of day”

A sensitive report into Russian interference in the Brexit referendum campaign in 2016 is being sat on by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.The report is the work of the Intelligence and Security Committee of the UK parliament, chaired by Dominic Grieve.  Before it can be published, the Prime Minister must give his approval for publication,…

Russia Wastes No Time in Attacking Ukraine after the Presidential Election

The President of the Russian Federation has issued  a decree  offering a simplified procedure for acquiring citizenship of the Russian Federation by Ukrainian citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. This is quite clearly a blatant interference of the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of Ukraine, and a…

Ukraine Demands Release of Illegally Detained Ships and Servicemen

Black Sea in 2019

Ukraine filed a request in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (“ITLOS”) last week seeking provisional relief against the Russian Federation.  The Request seeks the release of the three Ukrainian naval vessels and the twenty-four servicemen unlawfully seized by the Russian Federation in the Black Sea on 25 November 2018. Under the…