In recent months we have witnessed a fierce debate among scholars and politicians on the relations of the European Union with Russia. Two camps have emerged putting different emphasis on political conditionality, i.e. deepening the ties to the degree Russia implements democratic reforms and respects human rights and the rule of law.
Both positions do have its merits, but according to my view the EU should not mix vital interests in certain policy areas with human rights issues.
Any comment on these issues has to answer three questions. The … Continue Reading ››
In the nineties Senator Richard Lugar made his seminal statement about NATO going either out of area or out of business. Lugar was totally right – then. NATO had to accept new commitments beyond its territory, proliferate stability, enforce peace and enable civic actors to engage in post-conflict peace building were it to sustain its legitimacy. NATO since then has been of vital importance with SFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with KFOR in Kosovo and, most recently, with ISAF in Afghanistan.
ISAF is faced with growing resistance and ever more … Continue Reading ››
The murder of the former FSB agent A. Litvinenko is a heinous crime. The substance used – Polonium 210 –, causing a slow and painful death, indicates that the perpetrators were vying for utmost public attention. Otherwise Litvinenko could have simply been gunned down by contract killers. In addition, the murderers deliberately left a trail implicating a direct Russian involvement, particularly the traces of Polonium found in planes used for Russian destinations. Furthermore, these many places with Polonium contamination are meant to disguise the professionalism of the perpetrators; the … Continue Reading ››