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The Western sanctions have proved painful for the Russian elite not only in terms of finance, but also of image and prestige. However, thanks to the EU's much softer sanctions policy compared to the US, the Russian oligarchs have still been able to conduct their business in Europe, either directly or through intermediaries. Since March 2014, the Kremlin has tried to compensate selected businessmen for at least some of the losses they have suffered.
The increased wave of migration from Ukraine to Poland which began in 2014 is slowly beginning to decelerate. This migration is still mainly temporary in nature, and it is difficult to assess to what extent it may become fully residential.
The Ukrainian-Russian war not only came as a shock to the Ukrainian political elite and public – it also turned out to be a kind of a shock therapy for the Ukrainian economy. Very serious and deep changes have taken place in Ukraine’s trade co-operation with other countries since 2014.
For the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, seven months before the presidential election, it is difficult to determine not only who the most likely winner will be, but also which two candidates will make it into the second round.
The history of the special services and the ideas which organise them in the symbolic sphere are an important part of the reflection on their contemporary role and position. Over the centuries, the secret services defined Russia's relations with the outside world, shaped its domestic situation, and influenced the fate of the societies and nations that were part of the Russian and Soviet empires.
When Belarus embarked on the construction of its first nuclear power plant in Astravyets in 2012, the official objective was to significantly reduce the share played by imported Russian gas in the country’s electricity production.
Finland sees Russia as a source of opportunities and threats. On the one hand, Russia is an important trade partner. On the other hand, Finland is concerned by the Russian vision of the international order based on great powers’ spheres of influence, and by Russia’s increasing military capabilities.
The current system of government in Russia will not collapse, although signs of destabilisation may appear. The authorities will not carry out any reforms, political or economic. A process of ‘technocratisation’ will take place. The economy will remain dependent on external factors. Despite the implementation of energy infrastructure projects, exports of raw materials will not rise significantly.
The creation of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in December 2017 crowned the series of recent debates and actions aimed at strengthening the common security and defence policy of the EU.
The report discusses the current state and future prospects of rail connections between China and the countries of the European Union. Special emphasis is placed on the role of Central Europe.