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 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...

More →

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...

More →

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...

More →

Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 550
- Eastern 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...

More →

Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 548
- Eastern 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,”...

More →

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...

More →

Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 517
- Eastern 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...

More →

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...

More →

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...

More →

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.

More →

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...

More →

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....

More →

Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 472
- Eastern 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...

More →

Eastern Team

IEŚ Commentaries 471
- Eastern 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...

More →

Zespół Wschodni

- Zespół Wschodni

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...

More →

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),...

More →

Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 464
- Baltic Team

Sweden’s security policy in the Baltic Sea region: the jigsaw puzzle continues

In order to strengthen its security, Sweden is increasing its defence capabilities, according to the conception of the security strategy 2021-2025. An intensification of internal activities within the so-called total defence is accompanied by enhanced regional cooperation with the Nordic states within the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO), two trilateral formats and bilateral...

More →

Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 462

High incidence of COVID-19 cases in Latvia – diagnosis of the situation and analysis of the reasons

Latvia is currently the country with the highest incidence of coronavirus cases per 100,000 population in the European Union (1,257 in the last 14 days; the EU average is 190; the other Baltic states – Lithuania and Estonia – are also at the top in terms of COVID-19 incidence, with respectively 1,163 and 1,087[1]). Over the past week, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has...

More →

Zespół Wschodni

IEŚ Commentaries 459
- Zespół Wschodni

Ukrainian Authorities Declare War on the Oligarchs

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the presidential draft of the law “On the Prevention of Threats to National Security Associated with Excessive Influence of Persons Having Significant Economic and Political Weight in Public Life (Oligarchs)” at a second reading on September 23, 2021. The essence of this law is to give the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine,...

More →

Baltic Team

IEŚ Commentaries 458
- Baltic Team

Orlen Lietuva: new refinery installations crucial to improve efficiency

Mažeikiai refinery in Lithuania, owned by ORLEN Lietuva (a PKN ORLEN S.A. subsidiary), is the only plant of its kind operating in the Baltic States. Oil products are exported both to neighbouring countries and to international markets through oil terminals at the Baltic Sea. Due to the tough market conditions, logistical problems, and the Lithuanian climate policy, the plant...

More →

Balkan Team

IEŚ Commentaries 456
- Balkan Team

EU-Western Balkans summit in Slovenia: empty gestures and the stalemate of enlargement policy

Another European Union-Western Balkans summit brought no progress in the context of the EU enlargement process. For the leaders of the Western Balkans, this is a clear signal of the lack of political support from the European Union, which could be translated into political success in the home country and in the region. A further reduction in the EU's credibility will encourage...

More →

Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 455
- Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

Consistent increase in Hungary’s energy dependence on Russia

On September 27, 2021, Hungary signed a new natural gas supply contract with Russia, which would de-facto prevent the import of this commodity from any other location. The signing of the agreement is part of a consistent policy of the Viktor Orbán government, which is based on closer cooperation with Russia. The suggested alternatives (e.g., supplies from Azerbaijan) have so far...

More →

Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 450
- Baltic Team, Visegrad Team

Slovakia: price crisis and possible problems with access to natural gas

Currently, a significant challenge facing Slovakia is the rapidly growing prices of energy commodities, including natural gas. This problem affects not only large enterprises, but also individual clients. In addition to rising prices, the low level of filling of natural gas storage facilities is also worrying. Russia’s steps to reduce gas transport via Ukraine also directly...

More →

Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 446
- Visegrad Team

Priority areas of Polish-Hungarian cooperation according to presidents Andrzej Duda and János Áder

On September 8-9, 2021, President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda paid an official visit to Budapest. It was the sixth visit of the Polish president to Hungary since 2015. During that six-year period, the presidents of Poland and Hungary met as many as 12 times, both as part of bilateral visits and in meetings of the Visegrad Group. Polish-Hungarian relations have been very...

More →

Visegrad Team

IEŚ Commentaries 443
- Visegrad Team

The Hungarian national medicine factory will produce Russian Sputnik V and Chinese Sinopharm

On Monday, September 6, 2021, the groundbreaking ceremony for the national drug factory (nemzeti oltóanyaggyár) in Debrecen took place. The factory is to be launched next year and is also to produce vaccines against COVID-19, including the Russian Sputnik V and Chinese Sinopharm vaccines. The investment is expected to increase Hungary’s security in the face of the current...

More →