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

IEŚ Commentaries

Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1113
Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team

Imports of commodities and petroleum products from the US to Poland and the Baltic States

The Russian Federation’s aggression toward Ukraine has led Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to cease the importation of commodities and petroleum products from Russia. This has resulted in a gap that has been filled by imports from other sources, including the United States of America. Collaboration with the US influences energy security and holds political significance...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1107
Piotr Oleksy - Eastern Team

Gagauzia – a Russian destabilisation tool

The authorities of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia display openly pro-Russian attitudes and seek to deepen relations with the Russian Federation. Protests are organised during the visits of representatives of the authorities of the Republic of Moldova to the region. Gagauzia, controlled by the Ilan Șor political group, has become the most important Russian tool used...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1105
Marlena Gołębiowska - Baltic Team

The Weimar Triangle: new-old cooperation horizon

The Weimar Triangle, a platform for cooperation between France, Germany, and Poland, is gaining importance as a forum for dialogue on security issues in Europe. The recent meetings of this format show a determination to strengthen trilateral cooperation, including through the extension of activities into new areas such as protection against disinformation or building social ties,...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1103
Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team

War in Ukraine: Kiev’s efforts to ensure the availability of petroleum products

The ongoing war that began in 2022 has brought about significant changes in Ukraine’s energy market. In late 2023, the government in Kiev introduced measures to bolster the country’s energy security by establishing a system of crude oil and petroleum products reserves. While work on the relevant legislation had been underway for years, it was the war and Ukraine’s attainment...

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Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries Brief 1102
Łukasz Lewkowicz | Marlena Gołębiowska - Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

The Three Seas Initiative after the Vilnius Summit: security first

On 11 April 2024, the 9th summit of The Three Seas Initiative (3SI) occurred in Vilnius. The 3SI is a regional cooperation format initiated in 2016 and developed by the heads of Central European countries. A key objective of the initiative is to stimulate the development of energy, transport, and digital infrastructure. There are currently 13 EU Member States participating in 3SI,...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1093

Shelters in Lithuania. Catching up

Over the last two years, due to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, Lithuania has amended the law on crisis management and civil protection. A review of existing collective protection facilities was carried out and activities to create new shelters were intensified. The current infrastructure, adapted to provide temporary protection for the population in times of emergency or war,...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1084
Jakub Olchowski - Eastern Team

The case of Valerii Zaluzhnyi – a symptom of growing political tensions in Ukraine

The dismissal from the post of commander-in-chief of General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, very popular in Ukrainian society and the armed forces, caused a great stir, which was then intensified by the information that he was appointed ambassador to Great Britain. In Ukraine, it is widely believed that Zaluzhnyi’s dismissal was the result of concerns of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and...

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries Brief 1083
Hanna Bazhenova - Eastern Team

Valerii Zaluzhnyi: Future Diplomat or Politician?

On 7 March 2024, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the candidacy of former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) Valerii Zaluzhnyi for the vacant post of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Following the president’s announcement, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed that...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1079
Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team

Lukoil plans to sell its refinery in Bulgaria

For years, companies from the Russian Federation have been acquiring attractive energy assets around the world, including in Central European countries. The introduction of EU sanctions following Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine has restricted the operations of some of these companies. This is the situation with the Burgas refinery in Bulgaria, owned by the...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1076
Marlena Gołębiowska - Baltic Team

Proposals for new fiscal rules in the EU: the perspective of Central European countries

The reform of public finance architecture in the European Union focuses on solutions that, on the one hand, will allow member states to ensure long-term financial stability, but on the other hand, will not stifle economic growth and the planned reforms and investments in strategic areas. Of particular importance from the point of view of Central European countries is the proposal...

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Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1075
Jakub Bornio | Damian Szacawa - Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

Sweden in NATO: Relevance for Central and Eastern Europe

On 7 March 7 2024, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and the state’s Foreign Minister Tobias Billström handed over the accession documents to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who, as representative of the Washington Treaty depositary state, officially announced that Sweden had become the 32nd member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Sweden’s presence in...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1074

Security as a priority in Polish-Lithuanian relations

Poland and Lithuania have significantly strengthened their political relations recently, as numerous official visits at the highest level have reflected. Lithuania was visited by the Foreign Minister of Poland, Radosław Sikorski, then President Andrzej Duda, Speaker of the Sejm Szymon Hołownia, and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Representatives of both countries have confirmed...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1071
Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team

Natural gas demand decline in the Baltic countries in 2023

The Baltic countries have recorded another consecutive year of declining natural gas demand in 2023. Initially, such a situation was related to the COVID-19 pandemic and high commodity prices on exchanges in Europe (the result of price manipulation by Russia in 2021 and then the Russian-Ukrainian war in 2022). It is now expected that the projected economic growth in 2024 and the...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1055
Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team

Crude oil terminals in Central European countries in the era of the shift away from Russian commodities

There are six crude oil terminals in the Central European countries of the European Union, supplying a total of sixteen refineries, several of which are located outside the EU. Due to the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, these terminals have been unloading tankers from countries that have not previously supplied crude oil to these refineries, or if they have, sporadically, in 2023....

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1047
Piotr Oleksy - Eastern Team

Moldova is on the road to the EU. What about Transnistria?

Transnistria will pose a significant challenge in the process of the Republic of Moldova’s accession to the European Union. Until now, the issue has been relegated to the background. There have also been numerous suggestions that Moldova could join the EU without the separatist republic. In reality, however, these propositions should be regarded as part of a political game over...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1035
Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team

LNG terminals in Central Europe: importance and operation

There are several LNG regasification terminals in Central European countries, aimed at securing natural gas supplies from various directions. In the context of the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the importance of these terminals has definitely increased. At present, they are a key tool in efforts to diversify the sources and directions of natural gas supplies, especially...

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Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1034
Jakub Bornio - Visegrad Team

Airspace violations in Central and Eastern European countries in the context of the war in Ukraine

Due to the outbreak of a full-scale conflict between Russia and Ukraine, there have been several incidents involving air and missile threats, as well as air defence systems in the airspace of Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC). Certainly, some of these incidents have been intentional provocations by Russia against NATO, Ukraine or Moldova, aimed at pursuing a specific...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1027
Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team

Natural gas and crude oil markets in Central European countries in 2023

Central European countries in 2023 were taking active steps to strengthen energy security, which was a difficult process. A key strategic objective was to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons supplies from the Russian Federation by initiating new investments and continuing those already underway. Importantly, there are still countries on the continent that cooperate with Russia in...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1024

Year 2023: The State of the Central European Economies

In 2023, five Central European economies (Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, and the Czech Republic) are expected to end the year in a state of recession, while four (Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia) are facing double-digit average annual inflation. Furthermore, as many as seven countries in the region are projected to record budget deficits exceeding 3% of GDP....

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1006
Andrzej Szabaciuk - Eastern Team

Nothing New in the East? Consequences of the Slowdown of the Ukrainian Counteroffensive

The lack of success in the counteroffensive has sparked a lively debate in Ukraine regarding the situation on the front and the overall state of the country. The prolonged war of attrition is advantageous for the Russian Federation, which has the necessary resources to continue its aggression. Russia counts on weakening Kyiv as well as tiring its allies and reducing the scale of...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 1000
Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team

Impact of Russian-Ukrainian war on crude oil supplies to Bulgaria and Romania

The Russian-Ukrainian war has reoriented the refining sector in the Central European region, including Bulgaria and Romania. The crude oil processing plants operating in these countries had for years imported a large amount of crude oil from the Russian Federation. The change in international conditions has contributed to the activation of efforts to diversify crude oil supply...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 994

International Competitiveness of Economies: The Baltic States

Competitiveness is a key element of the European Union’s development strategy. In all the Baltic states, a significant weakening of competitiveness is currently observed, primarily due to external factors over which these countries, as both small and open economies, have limited influence. At the same time, however, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia continue to invest in the...

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Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 993
Michał Paszkowski - Baltic Team

Uncertain future of Skulte LNG terminal project

There have been efforts in Latvia to build an LNG terminal in Skulte since 2016, but recent decisions by the government in Riga make the realisation of the investment uncertain. Even the damage in early October 2023 to the Balticconnector pipeline, which connects the gas system of Estonia and Finland, has not changed the Latvian government’s approach to the Skulte LNG terminal....

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Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 991
Hanna Bazhenova - Eastern Team

Ukraine’s Defence Minister and His Entourage

In September 2023, a large-scale reorganisation of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine began. In the view of the authorities, the appointment of Rustem Umerov, an experienced economist and politician, as Minister of Defence was intended to ensure more effective management of the department and stem the tide of criticism against it. Subsequent personnel changes at the ministry may...

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