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 Team

IEŚ Commentaries 731
- Eastern Team

The Black Sea grain game

The agreement enabling the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports contributes to reducing the food deficit. This issue is also an element of the political game around the growing importance of the Black Sea, in which the beneficiaries are all parties, i.e. Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the UN. The international position of Turkey, which plays an increasingly important role...

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Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 717
- Visegrad Team

Slovakia: an unstable public support for Ukraine and the West

Survey research from July 2022. “How are you Slovakia?”, conducted by researchers from the research agencies MNFORCE, Seesame and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, shows that the majority of Slovaks support a victory for Russia rather than Ukraine in the current Russian-Ukrainian conflict. At the same time, an earlier survey, conducted by the think tank Globsec, shows...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 711

The Orthodox Churches of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Baltic States’ attitude towards the Russian invasion of Ukraine

On May 18, 2022, the Lithuanian Prime Minister asked the Patriarch of Constantinople to separate the Lithuanian Orthodox Church from the Moscow Patriarchate. Then, on September 8, the Latvian Saeima adopted a law on the independence of the Latvian Orthodox Church. Moreover, on October 12, the head of the Estonian Orthodox Church was ordered by the Estonian government to condemn...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 712
- Baltic Team

Lithuanian solidarity with Ukraine

Lithuania has remained one of the leading countries in terms of support for Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. It is measurable, counted in hundreds of millions of euros, military, humanitarian, and financial aid given to a war-torn state and the refugees fleeing from it. There is also a Lithuanian voice in the international arena against the aggressor, expressed...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 705
- Eastern Team

Chisinau’s Transnistrian Dilemma

The Moldovan authorities face a dilemma regarding their policy towards the separatist region on the left bank of the Dniester River. The new circumstances on the international scene resulting from Russian aggression against Ukraine mean that there is an increased possibility to exert pressure on the authorities of the separatist republic. A prompt resolution of the problem would...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 704
- Eastern Team

Credibility of international organizations in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (part 2)

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has contributed not only to the accelerated erosion of the international order but also to a decline in trust of international organizations. The limited effectiveness of key inter-state organizations, the controversial activities of some important non-governmental organizations, and Russia’s consistent disregard for international law may...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 700
- Eastern Team

Credibility of international organizations in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (part 1)

Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has contributed not only to the accelerated erosion of the international order but also to a decline in trust in international organizations. The limited effectiveness of key inter-state organizations, the controversial activities of some important non-governmental organizations, and Russia’s consistent disregard for international...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 653
- Baltic Team

Unicorns at the Baltic Sea: Estonia is the forge of start-ups

Estonia is harvesting the crops were sowed over a quarter of a century ago as the Tiger Leap (est. Tiigrihüpe). It was an initiative aimed to expand infrastructure and develop citizens' skills in the field of digitization, with a focus on the education of the youngest. The generation of Estonians educated in such an environment is already on the labour market and are successfully...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 646
- Eastern Team

Russian propaganda attacks Polish-Ukrainian relations

In recent weeks, Russia has been conducting an intensive propaganda and disinformation campaign aimed at deteriorating relations between Poland and Ukraine. Warsaw is accused of, inter alia, striving to seize and subjugate the western part of Ukraine in the name of the idea of the “great Republic”. Poland is also presented as an irresponsible and Russophobic state, striving to...

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Balkan Team, Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 642
- Balkan Team, Baltic Team

EU sanctions against Russia and potential problems with Serbia crude oil supplies

The sixth package of sanctions against Russia introduced by the European Union in connection with the attack on Ukraine will have consequences for Serbian Pančevo refinery, owned by Russian companies. Deliveries to the plant are taking place via the Adria pipeline and the Omišalj oil terminal in Croatia, and the new sanctions prevent the unloading of Russian crude oil in EU...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 639

The Three Seas Initiative after the Riga summit: a new status of cooperation with Ukraine and the support of the United States

On June 20-21, 2022, Latvia organized the 7th summit of The Three Seas Initiative (3SI). Riga emphasized the intra-EU and transatlantic dimension of the format. The first of them was reflected in the decision not to include Ukraine in the Three Seas Initiative, but to grant it a special status of a participating partner. The second is the declaration of the American support for...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 630
- Eastern Team

The War in Ukraine and Food Security in Regional and Global Perspective (part 1)

Overall 22 million tons of grain were blocked in Ukrainian ports as a result of Russia’s aggression and the suspension of Ukrainian agricultural exports by sea. This significantly reduced the ability of Ukrainian farmers to sell the 2021 grain harvest, while increasing the threat of global hunger, since almost half of all UN World Food Program deliveries come from Ukraine. The...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 615
- Eastern 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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Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 613
| Łukasz Lewkowicz - Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

Slovakia: the game about crude oil supplies from Russia

In Slovakia, a debate has been going on for a long time about the possible imposition on crude oil supply embargo from Russia by the European Union countries. The Slovak government hopes to obtain an appropriate derogation period from these provisions. Technological and infrastructural reasons are indicated as the problem. The project of introducing a special tax on crude oil...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 605
| Hanna Bazhenova - Eastern 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 Team

IEŚ Commentaries 595
- Eastern 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 Team

IEŚ Commentaries 575
- Eastern 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 Team

IEŚ Commentaries 564
- Eastern 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 Team

IEŚ Commentaries 563
- Eastern 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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