Publications

On 12 August the Russian Border Guard admitted that at the beginning of the month at the request of Rospotrebnadzor, the chief sanitary inspectorate of Russia, it had introduced a ban on imports of Moldovan wine. Despite the fact that Rospotrebnadzor the same day denied the information, Moldovan wine has not reached the Russian market. The embargo has a political character and comes as a result of Moscow’s dissatisfaction with the policies of the current Moldovan government; they may also be recognised as a means of supporting pro-Russian parties ahead of parliamentary elections planned for this autumn.
Analyses
2010-08-18
Slovakia does not have to fear formal sanctions for evading granting a loan for Greece and the aversion of EU leaders to Bratislava will only be temporary.
Analyses
2010-08-18
Jakub Groszkowski
The unusually high temperatures seen in Russia since mid-June have caused a huge series of wildfires in central Russia. The scale of the disaster has laid bare the weakness of Russia’s state structures against natural disasters and also the negative consequences of centralised power under Vladimir Putin’s governments and the neglect of fire prevention measures.
Analyses
2010-08-18
Iwona Wiśniewska
The number three on the current list of most wanted war criminals of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Samuel Kunz (aged 88), was a guard at the Nazi concentration camp in Belzec (Bełżec) in 1942–1943. This former SS member would probably not have been accused had he not participated as a witness at a trial of another camp guard, John Demjanjuk.
Analyses
2010-08-04
On 21 July, the German and French finance ministers, Wolfgang Schäuble and Christine Lagarde, announced a common German-French stance on eurozone reform. The joint document is intended to demonstrate that Germany and France are able to lead the discussion on the reform of the eurozone. However, it contains no breakthrough solutions which could have prevented subsequent crises.
Analyses
2010-08-04
Krzysztof Rutkowski
The verdict by the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation ordering Germany to pay damages for war crimes committed in Italy during World War II is contrary to international law. This was announced on 20 July by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. Thus Germany need not fear further claims from other countries’ citizens regarding war crimes committed at the time of World War II.
Analyses
2010-08-04
On 23 July, the Hungarian parliament voted for an adjustment of the media law, in effect of which the Media and Telecommunication Authority (NMHH) will be established in order to supervise the state media. The governing coalition, which holds more than two thirds of parliamentary seats, will fully control the newly established institution and thus subordinate the state media. However, the adopted amendment is just part of a package of changes in the media law, which Fidesz is pushing through. These changes are also expected to cover legislation regarding the private media.
Analyses
2010-08-04
On 23 July, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) published the results of European banks’ ‘stress tests’. From among the 91 tested institutions, 6 banks failed the tests, including Germany’s Hypo Real Estate. Other German banks on average also did worse than the European mean grade. The test results prove that numerous German financial institutions may not survive without state assistance should the crisis return.
Analyses
2010-08-04
The Lithuanian government on 21 July decided to build an LNG terminal, which will probably be located near Klaipeda. This project is an element of the Lithuanian government’s strategy for developing the national gas sector so as to lessen Lithuania’s dependence on Russian gas supplies (which is currently 100%) and to put an end to Gazprom’s price dictate (Lithuania is buying gas at a price significantly higher than West European countries).
Analyses
2010-08-04
On 29 July, President Dmitri Medvedev confirmed changes to laws regulating the operation of the Federal Security Service; these changes have been criticised by Russian democratic institutions and human rights defenders. The new regulations allow the FSS to summons physical and legal persons suspected of preparing activities which break the law, and if these summons are disregarded, to arrest or fine them. Giving the FSS right to issue ‘warnings’ may be considered as the government’s reaction to the escalating protest activity in Russia, and as a preventative measure to force the organisers of anti-government activities and journalists critical of the government to apply self-censorship.
Analyses
2010-08-04

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