The notion that German Chancellor Angela Merkel should step up and take the lead within the EU to resolve tensions over Georgia and reshape the West’s relations with Moscow appears to be emerging, with analysts claiming Germany is the only country that Russia might listen to.
Two interesting – and thematically related – pieces look at past conflicts in relation the the Georgia / Russia spat over the last couple of days have prompted some thoughts along the old comparative history line (always an interesting intellectual exercise, as long as you don’t take it too seriously or literally).
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) asked Georgia to stop censoring Russian-language press and has asked for all sides of the conflict in South Ossetia to inform the public through "free reporting", reported gipp.ru.
"The world needs to know what is happening and we appeal to both Russian and Georgian authorities to allow media to operate and journalists to work freely", said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.
The image of the lobbyist is a part of the Brussels political landscape. These groups work in the spotlight, but also have a consulting role in the legislative process. Is this mature democracy or a skills deficit in Europe?
Given Russia’s moves on Georgia, it’s time for the United States to rethink its policy toward Iran.
The military and political leaders of the United States and Europe could be forgiven in August 2008 for recalling the English phrase "it never rains, but it pours". For they are currently faced by a series of security problems in relation to Russia, Afghanistan and Iran, each of which is testing in its own right but which together strain their resources (and perhaps nerves) to the limit. These are only part of a chain of problems for strategists of the "west" (a category that analysts are notably feeling more and more obliged to qualify or clarify) that is highlighted in this period alone by events in Algeria, Iraq, and Pakistan.
Matthew Derek Crosston: The West needs some serious balance in the way it analyzes and discusses the Georgian conflict. Academics, diplomats, and journalists have come forward with a united response to Ossetia: Russia is showing ‘imperialist ambitions’ and ‘a disproportionate reaction.’ This is ridiculous.
The German government has moved to restrict foreign investors’ influence in German companies. With the tightening of the foreign trade act passed on Wednesday, investors from outside the EU must in the future expect more stringent controls by the federal government when seeking to invest in German businesses. Europe’s press harshly criticises the new law.
The past three post very probably would not have written if – being on my way to become 15 – there had not been Alexander Dub?ek, the Prague Spring, and its end on August 21 1968, when as Václav Havel later put it, the ("brother"-) state(s) behaved like a girl blaming the mirror for being ugly, and therefore smashed it.