Publisher: Instytut Europy Środkowej
ISSN: 2657-6996
  • Beata Surmacz
  • Tomasz Stępniewski
  • Agnieszka Zajdel
  • Aleksandra Kuczyńska-Zonik
  • Jakub Olchowski
  • Konrad Pawłowski
  • Agata Tatarenko

IEŚ Commentaries

Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 615
| Jakub Olchowski - Eastern Europe Team

Russian war crimes and their international context

Russia continues its policy of terror in Ukraine, which has been applied many times in other conflicts, committing murders, rapes, looting, deportations, and shelling civilian objects. International reactions are varied, which results, inter alia, from an opinion, supported by Russian propaganda, that the West has also committed war crimes. The punishment of Russian crimes will be...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 616
- Baltic Team

A decisive year for regional cooperation within the Council of the Baltic Sea States

Ministers of foreign affairs and other high-level representatives of the members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) met on May 25, 2022, in Kristiansand, Norway, for the first CBSS Ministerial Session in nine years. A summary of Norway’s Presidency (July 2021-June 2022) and an assessment of the impact that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is having on the Baltic...

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 605
| Hanna Bazhenova - Eastern Europe Team

The War in Ukraine: Crimes against the Environment (part 1) 

During the three months of the war, 245 eco-crimes committed by the Russian army in the territory of Ukraine, the Black Sea, and the Sea of Azov were documented. Rocket attacks caused large-scale fires in critical infrastructure, especially oil depots and chemical plants. This led to significant damage to ecosystems and pollutes the environment, reducing the populations of many...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 597

May 9: The Baltic states oppose the symbols of aggression

On May 9, which is celebrated by the Russian-speaking inhabitants of the Baltic states as the day of the Soviet Army’s victory over Nazism, no serious incidents or provocations occurred. Due to the ongoing Russian military operations in Ukraine, the Baltic authorities have introduced a ban on displaying symbols of war inciting aggression and significantly limited the possibility...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 587
- Baltic Team

The Baltic States: stop Russian natural gas imports

Despite their natural gas supplies dependence, the Baltic states decided to suspend their imports from Russia. Such a decision is connected with the necessity to look for alternative supply sources and to fully use the existing infrastructure, which will also be expanded. Regional cooperation, including with Poland, will be key for Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Due to Russia’s...

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Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 585
| Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

Slovakia: natural gas supply diversification with a government misunderstanding

Slovakia has condemned unequivocally Russia’s attack on Ukraine and is now consistently in favour of introducing an embargo on the import of energy resources and oil products from Russia. The country’s high dependency on natural gas supplies necessitates the creation of a more diversified structure of imports, which, however, in current market conditions, will be a serious...

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 595
- Eastern Europe Team

Protection of Ukraine’s Cultural Heritage during the War

During the two months of the war, the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine documented 242 cases of war crimes committed by the Russian military against the cultural heritage of Ukraine. The purpose of the aggressor’s actions is to destroy Ukrainian memory and identity. At the same time, social groups and foreign partners take intensive measures to preserve...

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 575
- Eastern Europe Team

Ukraine’s Second Front: Sowing Campaign 2022

The 2022 sowing campaign is the most difficult in the history of independent Ukraine. As a result of hostilities, farmers encounter numerous problems with logistics, fuel supply, seeds, fertilizers, plant protection products, interruptions in the availability of agricultural machinery, spare parts, equipment, significant difficulties in the export of agricultural products, a...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 565
- Baltic Team

Without consensus: Central European countries move towards oil and gas embargo of Russia

Central European countries have different approaches to the possibility of introducing sanctions against Russia, among them suspending the import of crude oil and natural gas. While all states condemned Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine and supported economic and political sanctions, there is no full agreement on sanctions relating to energy. This type of approach is due...

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 564
- Eastern Europe Team

Russian war crimes in Ukraine – another version of the old tactics

The Russian army is committing numerous war crimes in Ukraine, attacking civilians and destroying the country’s infrastructure. These actions are intended to suppress the will to resist of both the authorities and Ukrainian society, and at the same time they are probably also associated with the growing frustration caused by the prolonged stalemate and the lack of expected...

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 563
- Eastern Europe Team

Patriarch Kirill’s Holy War

Russia’s all-out attack on Ukraine on 24 February this year resulted in the polarisation of attitudes of clergy in the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Some clergymen, headed by Patriarch Kirill, supported the aggression. Others distanced themselves from Vladimir Putin’s decision and the Patriarch’s position, or even protested against the war. The...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 561
- Baltic Team

Organizational sanctions: suspension of cooperation with Russia in the Baltic Sea Region

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is a blatant violation of the fundamental principles of international law, which many international institutions in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) refer to. By deciding to suspend the participation of Russia and Belarus in these regional cooperation structures, the BSR states have demonstrated that they exclude cooperation with the aggressor. The...

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 550
- Eastern Europe Team

The Slowdown of the Russian Offensive in Ukraine

Twelve days of the Russian offensive against Ukraine have failed to deliver the Russian Federation a decisive victory. The Ukrainian army is putting up effective resistance to the Russian forces, which are experiencing major losses in personnel and equipment. The Russians have not succeeded in gaining full control over key cities in Eastern and Central Ukraine. A number of...

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 548
- Eastern Europe Team

Russian invasion triggers changes in the security architecture in Central and Eastern Europe

The structure of the security system in Central and Eastern Europe might have been revolutionized as both state and non-state actors performed decisive actions in reaction to the Russian reinitiated attack on Ukraine. Germany announced an extreme reshape of its Ostpolitik, but the true nature and durability of such a shift remain unknown. The EU is still a “military midget,”...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 531

Baltic States’ solidarity with Ukraine

In recent weeks, and particularly after Russia's attack on Ukraine, issues concerning security in the region have become a priority in the public debate over the Baltic States. In response to the Russian aggression, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia expressed solidarity and readiness to help Ukraine and made an attempt to strengthen their own security. The Baltic States may also be...

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 517
- Eastern Europe Team

Ukraine and Great Britain – an alliance based on common interests

The key premise that justifies the pursuit of the announced creation of a Polish-Ukrainian-British security agreement is the similar position of the three countries towards Russia's actions. Great Britain and Ukraine also share common interests and many years of cooperation in the field of defense. Ukraine, uncertain of the prospects of NATO and EU membership, strengthens its...

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Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 501
- Visegrad Team

Slovakia: Controversy over a Defense Agreement with the United States

On January 12, 2022, the government of Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) adopted a draft framework defense agreement with the US, which, inter alia, regulates the legal status of US soldiers and allows the US to use and modernize the Slovak military infrastructure. The document still has to be ratified by the parliament and signed by President Zuzana Čaputová. The contract will run for 10...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 490
- Baltic Team

OSCE on the eve of the Polish Chairmanship: difficult cooperation in an (in)security environment

Tense relations between OSCE member states have always been a major obstacle to reaching the consensus necessary for foreign ministers to make decisions. The past year has been marked by Sweden’s constant search for a consensus that would allow the proper functioning of the OSCE in a dynamic security environment. Despite these efforts, no progress has been made on resolving...

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Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 482
- Visegrad Team

Hungary to hold referendum and elections on same day in 2022

On December 1, 2021, the Hungarian National Assembly adopted a resolution on the organization of a nationwide referendum. It is to be held on the same day as parliamentary elections. However, parliament is likely to extend the state of extreme danger soon. This means that at the moment, it is impossible to establish the date of these proposed events.

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Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 480
- Visegrad Team

Hungary’s Eastern Policy and the Migration Crisis on the Eastern Border of the European Union

The Hungarian authorities, while expressing their solidarity with the countries affected by the migration crisis on the border with Belarus (namely Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland), do not recognize Alexander Lukashenko’s responsibility for causing it. The events on the eastern borders of the European Union did not in any way affect the Hungarian involvement in relations with the...

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Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 475
- Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

Slovakia resists construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

The Nord Stream 2 (NS2) gas pipeline that is being built by the Russian company OAO Gazprom will have a significant impact on Slovakia‘s energy security. The country, like Ukraine, is concerned about limiting its role as a transit country, as well as Russia’s use of its monopoly position in Central Europe. Nevertheless, this is not a topic often raised in political debate....

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 472
- Eastern Europe Team

The crisis on Ukraine’s borders

In the background of the events at the Polish-Belarusian border, there is growing tension related to the potential transfer of the crisis to the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. Combined with the increased activity of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, this causes growing concern not only for Ukraine but also for Western states and institutions. The multidimensional actions of...

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Eastern Europe Team

IEŚ Commentaries 471
- Eastern Europe Team

The crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border in the context of rising tensions in Eastern Europe (part 2)

The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border remains tense due to Lukashenko’s regime, which, by driving refugees and migrants from its territory, aims to escalate tensions with Poland and the European Union in order to force a decision to raise sanctions imposed on the regime for its repression towards Belarusian civic society. As happened after the presidential elections in...

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Zespół Europy Wschodniej

- Zespół Europy Wschodniej

The crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border in the context of rising tensions in Eastern Europe (part 1)

The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border continues to be tense due to Lukashenko’s regime, which, by driving refugees and migrants from its territory, aims to escalate tensions with Poland and the wider European Union, in an attempt to force a decision to raise sanctions imposed on the regime for its repression towards Belarusian civic society. As happened after the...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 467
- Baltic Team

The European Commission counters development of the oil shale sector in Estonia

For years, oil shale, with its similarity to coal, has played a key role in Estonia’s energy system. Currently, oil shale is burned for heat and power generation, or used (after processing) to produce liquid fuels (mainly marine fuel). To combat global climate change and environmental degradation processes, European Commission has prepared a new legislative package (Fit for 55),...

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