European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted the €32 billion South Stream natural gas pipeline can still go ahead, and accused Russia of holding EU-member Bulgaria for ransom when it said it had abandoned the project.
STOCKHOLM — Everywhere one looks on the eastern fringes of Europe, the Russian bear menaces. From Ukraine to Estonia, Russian troops are either engaged in outright warfare or testing the borders of Russia’s neighbors. In Sweden and Finland, Russian planes and vessels are prodding at coastal defenses. Nordic defense officials now speak of a fundamentally altered security environment in the Baltics.
Sweden faces new elections after the red-green government’s budget was rejected by parliament on Wednesday. Conservative parties and Sweden Democrats voted against the proposal. The deep rifts between the camps have strengthened the right-wing populists, some commentators write. Others call for a debate on immigration to stop the rise of the Sweden Democrats.
The cancellation of the South Stream pipeline project will not make the European Union more vulnerable to shortages caused by Russia cutting off gas to the Ukraine, senior EU and US officials said yesterday (3 December).
Events in Scotland and Catalonia have given Bretons hope as they continue to fight for devolution and cultural preservation against the ultra-centralised, anti-regionalist French state.
Russian President Valdimir Putin defended the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and accused the West of a “policy of containment” in his state of the nation address on Thursday. Strong words can’t conceal Russia’s economic weaknesses, commentators write, voicing surprise that Putin is still so popular among the Russian people.
Bulgaria’s economy is being badly hurt by European Union economic sanctions against Russia, its prime minister said on Thursday (4 December).
Protests against police brutality continued on Saturday across the United States, after Wednesday’s grand jury decision not to indict a white NYPD officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, a black man.