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Koniec INF: początek trudnych negocjacji
Analyses | | Justyna Gotkowska

On 4 December, the NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers issued a statement confirming that Russia had violated the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on the elimination of ground-launch ballistic and cruise missiles with a range from 500 km to 5,500 km), by developing and fielding the 9M729 missile system.

NATO‘s Northeast Quartet: Prospects and Opportunities for Baltic-Polish Defence Cooperation
OSW Commentary | | Justyna Gotkowska, Piotr Szymański

For quite some time, territorial defence seemed to be an obsolete need, a leftover from the Cold War era. However, Russia’s overt and covert uses of military force—against Georgia in 2008 and against Ukraine since 2014—have profoundly altered the security environment and threat perceptions in the region and, indeed, across the entire Alliance.  Has this new situation also provided opportunities for the Baltic states and Poland to enhance their cooperation in their defence policies?

Analyses | | Wojciech Górecki

The My Step coalition led by the acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan won the early parliamentary election held in Armenia on 9 December by a landslide. According to unofficial results provided by the Central Election Committee, it garnered 70.4% of the votes. The other groupings which also made it to the parliament are: Prosperous Armenia led by oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan (8.3%) and Bright Armenia led by Edmon Marukyan (6.4%).

Kramp-Karrenbauer to lead the CDU
Analyses | | Anna Kwiatkowska-Drożdż

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) elected a new party leader during its party congress in Hamburg. The new leader is Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (often known by her initials, AKK), who won the votes of 517 delegates, beating Friedrich Merz with 482 votes. Kramp-Karrenbauer was born in 1962 to a large family. In 2009, she was nominated as the minister for Labour, Family, Social Policy and Sport of Saarland, and in 2011 she became the minister president of that federal state (which has a population of around 1 million).

Consolidation of the pro-government media in Hungary
Analyses | | Łukasz Frynia

On 28 November, the owners of the majority of Hungary’s conservative media began transferring shares in their companies to the Central European Press and Media Foundation that was established in August. The foundation is led by individuals who have close links to Hungary’s governing party, Fidesz, including one MP representing this party.

Analyses | | Kamil Frymark

The focus of the CDU’s party congress in Hamburg (6-8 December) will be the election of a new leader. The best chances to take over as head of the party from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has exercised this function for 18 years, are enjoyed by three candidates. From the latest opinion polls it appears that the current secretary-general, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, is most popular among supporters of the party; in a poll from 23 November, 38% of CDU supporters would like to see her as the new head of this group.

Analyses | | Wojciech Górecki

The second round of presidential elections in Georgia on 28 November was won by Salome Zurabishvili, who ran as an independent candidate but was supported by the ruling Georgian Dream party. According to unofficial results provided by the Central Electoral Commission, after the results from 100% of the polling places were counted, Zurabishvili received 59.5% of the vote, and her rival Grigol Vashadze (of the United National Movement, founded by the former president Mikheil Saakashvili) got 40.5%. Turnout was 56.2% (compared to 47.8% in the first round).

The Russian attack on Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea
Analyses | | Andrzej Wilk

On 24 November, a group of ships of the Ukrainian Navy, composed of two armoured artillery boats, the Berdyansk and the Nikopol (newly-constructed Giurza M-type units, which have been in service since 2016 and 2018 respectively) and the tugboat Yana Kapu (in service since 1974), left Odessa under instructions to join the vessels which have been stationed in Mariupol since September (namely the twin artillery boats, the Kremenchug and the Lubny; the command ship Donbas; and the tugboat Koreyets).

Martial law in ten regions of Ukraine
Analyses | | Tadeusz Iwański, Sławomir Matuszak, Piotr Żochowski

After a heated discussion, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a law during an extraordinary session late in the evening of 26 November approving a decree by President Petro Poroshenko introducing martial law for 30 days in ten regions located along the border of Russia, the coasts of the ​​Azov Sea and the Black Sea, and the borders with separatist Transnistria (the Vinnytsia, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Sumy and Chernihiv oblasts).

Analyses |

Russia’s draft budget for 2019–2021 was accepted on 21 November by the State Duma and, on 23 November, by the Federation Council. The document is still to be signed by the president.