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Analyses |
On 8 June, at a conference in Istanbul, Ukraine’s energy minister Yuri Boyko criticised Russian plans to build the South Stream gas pipeline, claiming that they strike at the national interests of Ukraine. Earlier, the government in Kyiv linked a possible agreement to create a Russian-Ukrainian gas consortium with a demand that Moscow give up its plans to build this pipeline. This demonstrates Kyiv’s growing concern over the prospect that it may lose the status of a transit state for Russian gas. At the same time, Ukraine’s position is too weak to block this project, while the very possibility that the South Stream would be constructed is a convenient tool for Russia to put pressure on Ukraine.
Analyses | | Mateusz Gniazdowski
The ruling party Smer has won the election but the government will be established by the centre-right. The change in power will improve the atmosphere in Slovak-Hungarian relations.
Analyses |

The Bulgarian authorities are pointing to the possibility of withdrawing from important energy investments, in which Sofia's partner is Russia. Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has announced the withdrawal from the construction of the Burgas–Aleksandroupolis oil pipeline intended for the transit of Russian oil and freezing the construction of the nuclear power plant in Belene. Also the implementation of the Nabucco project was identified as Sofia's priority, at the expense of the support for the South Stream gas pipeline. Borisov's statements may indicate a progressive correction of the premises of Bulgaria's energy policy but they are above all an element of Sofia's negotiating tactic for the future of supplies of Russian energy resources.

Analyses |
On 7 June Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci announced an offensive against corruption and appealed to all citizens and international institutions for cooperation. The declaration of the prime minister is a reaction to accelerating investigations into cases that involve two ministers from Thaci’s government, conducted by the EU mission EULEX operating in Kosovo.
Analyses |
The government’s proposal to introduce a tax on fuel used in nuclear power plants, presented on 7 June, was met with sharp criticism from many CDU politicians who fear an increase in energy prices and are calling for an extension of the period of operation for nuclear reactors. Angela Merkel’s support for the tax that heavily impacts on the sector of nuclear energy can be a signal that the chancellor is giving priority to the development of renewable sources of energy. This will determine the shape of the energy strategy for Germany that is currently being prepared.
Analyses |
On 9 June the Ministry of Economy announced that it had rejected the motion presented by General Motors about loan guarantees worth EUR 1.1 billion for restructuring Opel. The Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle (FDP) justified this decision citing GM’s good financial condition and the fact that Opel does not fulfil the formal criteria for receiving aid. Chancellor Merkel distanced herself from the decision to reject GM’s motion concerning assistance.
Analyses |
On 12 June in Riga a foundation congress of the union For a Better Latvia was held. The union is made up of parties run by Latvian oligarchs and a host of business people that support them. The reason behind the establishment of a new coalition is the poor results of these parties, blamed to a large degree by society on Latvia's economic crisis. The new name and populist slogans backed by strong financial and media resources will probably allow the unpopular new parties of oligarchs to maintain representation in parliament after the parliamentary election scheduled for 2 October 2010.
Analyses | | Tadeusz A. Olszański, Paweł Wołowski
The new government is moving towards taking control over the informational sphere and the mass media. Meanwhile the opposition, which is divided internally and lacks a plan of action, has shown itself incapable of resisting the government, including in those cases where the latter has broken the law.
Analyses |

On 31 May, President Dmitri Medvedev accepted the resignation of the governor of Yakutia, Vyacheslav Shtyrov, two years before the end of the latter’s term in office. Shtyrov’s successor will probably be Aysen Nikolayev, who represents the younger generation of Yakutia’s political and business elite. The governor’s resignation, which was most probably caused by his conflict with the local elite, is an unprecedented move, and shows the boundaries which the Kremlin may be running into in the regions.

Analyses |

On 2 June, the presidential committee for reforms endorsed a complex program of economic and social reforms for the period from 2010 to 2014. The programme accurately diagnoses the problems and challenges which Ukraine faces, and has systematically presented proposals for reforms. The most important question is whether this programme will be realised at all, and if it is, to what degree.