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Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict: A Fight about International Law not Religion

The city of Shusha in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is recognised as part of Azerbaijan by the UN, has been in the news after the bombing of a historic cathedral located there during the current fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Last week Armenia accused Azerbaijan of targeting Holy Saviour Cathedral, an iconic site in Shusha for the Armeni...
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Armenian Actions in Tovuz Border District Threaten European Energy Security and Geopolitical Stability

Protests by the Armenian Diaspora in Brussels last week turned violent, with a premeditated attack on the Azerbaijani Embassy. Similar incidents were orchestrated around the globe in what appears to have been a coordinated campaign of terror. In this opinion editorial, our guest correspondent Dr Ceyhun Osmanli warns of the dangers for Europe if thi...
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Caucasus: Armenia's "New War for New Territories"

By James Wilson While Europe and the rest of the world is trying to cope with the coronavirus and searching for ways to re-energise their pandemic-affected economies, fighting and heavy artillery fire broke out on 12th July on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The fighting was concentrated in a border zone some 300 kms to the north of Nago...
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ELECTION OBSERVATION CRUCIAL FOR MONTENEGRO

vladimir-krulj
By Vladimir Krulj In the difficult environment of managing a public health pandemic because of the coronavirus, Montenegro would be well advised to invite international support organisations to monitor the upcoming parliamentary elections later this year, to ensure that there are no politically motivated restrictive measures. The Coronavirus pandem...
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Is Corona Bad News for Democracy in Armenia?

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has been exploited to undermine democracies across the globe, with governments using this occasion to silence critics, enhance state surveillance and tighten their political grip while taking advantage of the state of emergency to arrest protestors. The EU neighbourhood is no exception to this tendency. Even in countrie...
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Lebanon's Central Bank must not fall victim to Hezbollah

Last week, Prime Minister Hassan Diab of Lebanon strongly criticised Riad Salameh, the Governor of Lebanon's Central Bank. On Wednesday, Mr Salameh hit back and highlighted the sustained campaign against him. Is this dispute simply as the Financial Times described, a "feud" and a "public fight"? Or is it that the campaign against Mr Salameh runs much deeper? There are growing concerns that behind the attacks on Mr Salameh lie an attempt by Iran-backed Shi'ite group Hezbollah to oust the bank's governor, using their ally Prime Minister Hassan Diab as their voice, and with the backing of Gebran Bassil, the former Foreign Minister and President of the Christian Free Patriotic Movement (FPM). With Lebanon in an excruciating economic and financial crisis, this is not the time to allow Hezbollah their usual influence.

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Romanian prosecutors investigate cryptocurrency funding of #resist protestors

The Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) in Romania is investigating 403 cryptocurrency transactions. These transactions, valued in total at 14 million US Dollars, were made over a period of three years, writes James Wilson. 

The funds entered Romania in order to fund #resist groups and other NGOs who support the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA), Klaus Iohannis, Dacian Ciolos and the Save Romania Union (USR) political party.Evidence leads to a virtual wallet on the BLOCKCHAIN online platform, funded by the Stefan Batory Foundation in Poland, which itself is funded directly by billionaire George Soros.

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European Parliament Round Table Hosted by Norica Nicolai MEP on the Reform of the Law and Justice System in Romania with Daniel Dragomir

European Parliament Round Table Hosted by Norica Nicolai MEP on the Reform of the Law and Justice System in Romania with Daniel Dragomir

The European Commission has been urged to do more to tackle "very serious" judicial irregularities in Romania, writes Martin Banks.

A hearing in Brussels on Wednesday heard that these include "mass surveillance" of the Romanian population, collusion between the secret services and the judiciary and blackmailing of judges.

The demand comes just ahead of the Commission's latest Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) on Romania.

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THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE BRUSSELS LOBBYIST

THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE BRUSSELS LOBBYIST
The effective expulsion of Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the controversial human rights NGO the Open Dialog Foundation (ODF), from the Schengen zone may well be the final chapter in a story that has held the attention of the Brussels Press Corps for some time now, writes James Wilson. She was detained at Brussels airport during the late evening ...
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DODIK RECOGNISES THE REALITIES AND CONSTRAINTS OF BUILDING A STABLE BOSNIA

DODIK RECOGNISES THE REALITIES AND CONSTRAINTS OF BUILDING A STABLE BOSNIA
Bosnia-Herzegovina will hold elections on Sunday 7th October to choose the three members of the collective presidency prescribed by the Dayton agreement. Milorad Dodik, the current President of Republika Srpska, the Serbian half of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is campaigning to be re-elected in a closely fought campaign, writes James Wilson. Dodik has been ...
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Environment and Health Concerns over Mineral Wool production spread from the US to Europe

Environment and Health Concerns over Mineral Wool production spread from the US to Europe
As protests grow in the United States over the environmental and health impacts of the production of mineral wool, it seems these concerns are also spreading to Europe.The effects of mineral wool production are increasingly under the spotlight, with a Rockwool plant being built in Romania this year, writes James Wilson. Protests have escalated in t...
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Footage released in Romania reveals protestor violence and pre-meditated provocation

Footage released in Romania reveals protestor violence and pre-meditated provocation
It is rare that Romania makes it onto the news of international television broadcasters and when it does, coverage is usually related to protests.It is difficult not to be stirred by the sight of large numbers of people on the streets.International media coverage of Romanian protests is usually brief and very visual.On 10 August, world attention wa...
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Romania's Long Road to Justice

Romania's Long Road to Justice
As the EU institutions comes back to work after the summer recess, a critical issue on the horizon is that in 4 months' time Romania will preside over the EU, and will be at the helm of the Council when the UK's Brexit is due to take place. But Romania's justice system still has a very long way to go before meeting European standards, writes J...
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Shockwaves in Romania as former judge gets his conviction overturned

Shockwaves in Romania as former judge gets his conviction overturned
In a turnaround that has caused quite a stir in Romania, a former judge Toni Grebla was acquitted by the High Court of Cassation on 11 May 2018, writes James Wilson Mr Grebla has gone public about his ordeal and has spoken about what he believes was the motivation behind his wrongful imprisonment.He described to Romania's Antena 3 te...
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Kuwait faces criticism over Marsha Lazareva case

Kuwait faces criticism over Marsha Lazareva case
Prominent Russian businesswoman Marsha Lazareva was sentenced this month to ten years hard labour in Kuwait after a conviction for misusing public funds. She denies all of the charges and has confirmed that she will appeal the decision, writes James Wilson. However, concerns are growing as she sits in the notorious Sulaibiya prison in Kuwait, where...
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STIFLING PRESS FREEDOM IN TODAY'S RUSSIA

Russia ranks 148th in the world for press freedom according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The atmosphere for independent journalists is stifling, and under Vladimir Putin independent news outlets have been either driven out of business or brought under state control.  According to the Freedom House 2017 Report on the freedom of the press...
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On The Home Front In Russia's Information War

If you want to understand the roots of Russia's "information war" against the west, the best place to start is in what shows up, routinely, on the TV channels at home.  We've just received a leaked copy of what looks to be a nearly-completed television exposé from one of the state-controlled Russian channels. It makes Breitbart look like PBS N...
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Humanitarian partners stretched by worsening conflict in Donbass

According to the United Nations Organization for the Co-ordination of Human Aid, 3.8 million people in the Donbass region are in need of humanitarian aid. With no end in sight to the military conflict in Ukraine's East, the hopes of thousands of innocent citizens living on both sides of the 'contact line' to return to a normal life are evaporating....
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Ukraine is still facing War

The war in Donbass in the East of Ukraine is in its third year; there is daily fighting, with military and civilian casualties. The war takes away people's homes, their loved ones and their future. In the centre of Europe, in the 21st century. It takes away the lives of children and elderly people, causes them to starve; every day millions of peopl...
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Refugees; Is Europe Full?

Can Europe's ability to integrate refugees into society keep pace with the numbers of immigrants it is currently absorbing?  The refugee crisis and immigration have become big topics of debate for Germans, who go to polls for federal elections on 24 September of this year. Should these be treated as security issues, or rather as economic and h...
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