China & Russia

Israel's dark view of the world

13 November 2009
The Guardian
The official explained to Bibi Netanyahu that if there was a peace settlement, extra investment would push Israel's longterm growth rate from 5% a year to 7%. The Israeli prime minister responded that if the country had 5% growth, it did not need peace.
Netanyahu was joking, according to the official...

Obama's missile defense change shows different targets

Tomas Valasek
21 September 2009
Yale Global Online
Washington rankled some of its European allies and delighted Moscow on September 17 when president Obama cancelled plans to build missile defense bases in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Warsaw warms to Moscow

Tomas Valasek
18 September 2009
The Guardian
Tabloids make a poor guide to understanding a country's policy. While the newspaper headlines in Poland and the Czech Republic scream of the US "betraying" eastern Europe by cancelling missile defence bases there, the official reaction in Warsaw and Prague has been muted.

Missile strategy must not be seen as a retreat

Tomas Valasek
09 September 2009
Financial Times
There are mounting indications that Barack Obama will soon abandon plans to put missile defence bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. These have become one of the main bones of contention between Russia and the west.

Germany owes Afghanistan an explanation

Tomas Valasek
09 September 2009
The Guardian
Finger pointing is the defence of the concerned and the cornered. So it reflects very poorly on Nato that allies are bickering with one another over an attack that killed an unknown number of Afghan civilians last week.

Is Ukraine fit for the EU?

Tomas Valasek
24 August 2009
The Wall Street Journal
The European Union just helped put together a consortium of international banks to offer Kiev up to $3.6 billion in loans to buy Russian gas.

China - A hard turn

07 August 2009
Prospect
The Uighur protests could strengthen the hand of China's hardliners - at a cost to us all writes Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform.

Economic liberalism in retreat

16 July 2009
The New York Times
Is the brief flowering of economic liberalism in Europe over? It is too soon to read the last rites, but the prognosis is not good.
The financial crisis, the subsequent discrediting of the Anglo-Saxon economies and the passing of the most economically liberal European Commission there has ever been have put liberal economic thinking on the defensive.

Logic in Europe's military could check spending

Tomas Valasek
16 July 2009
Financial Times
When an unstoppable force meets an immovable object bad things usually happen. And so it will be next year when spending cuts imposed by the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression meet the rising demands of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The UK government may have to cut non-defence...

Europe and Russia's continental rift

Katinka Barysch
13 July 2009
Time Europe
Russia's economy - until recently one of the fastest growing in Europe - is in dire straits. In the first three months of this year, output fell by 10% compared with a year earlier.

Por qué pesa poco España?

08 May 2009
ABC.es
El papel de España en la UE encierra una extraña paradoja. Aunque se trata de uno de los Estados miembros más europeísta, es el que menos influencia tiene de los seis países más grandes. Pero esto no siempre ha sido así.

Obama’s European Scorecard

Josef Joffe, Tomas Valasek, Patrick Weil
07 April 2009
The New York Times
Europe’s Kind of Guy
Josef Joffe
Barack H. Obama is not George W. Bush — that is the difference, and the 44th president has been going to town on it ever since he was inaugurated. In fact, he swept the Europeans off their feet even before the election.
Just recall the hundreds of...

Turkey's future lies with Europe

Katinka Barysch
07 April 2009
The Guardian
Barack Obama would not have needed to say it. The fact that he is visiting Turkey as part of a European – not a Middle Eastern – tour shows where he thinks Turkey's future lies: in the EU.

The real G20 agenda: From technics to politics

Katinka Barysch
16 March 2009
Open democracy
The efforts of world leaders to find solutions to the economic crisis are intensifying. The last preparatory meeting before the leaders' summit on 2 April 2009 shows what needs to be done, says Katinka Barysch.
The summit of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Twenty (G20) countries took...

Fighting the leaderless jihad

01 March 2009
E!Sharp
The planned closure of the controversial US interrogation centre and prison at Guantánamo Bay should usher in deeper transatlantic cooperation in the fight against terrorism and other common security threats.

Belarus: An artful balancing act

23 February 2009
International Herald Tribune
Compared with most former Soviet states, Belarus has a lot going for it. The government is less corrupt than in neighboring Russia and Ukraine. Belarus has no oligarchs, since the state never sold its big companies, and social inequalities are low.

The Runway 3 red herring

22 January 2009
The Guardian
Simon Jenkins, Martin Kettle and Polly Toynbee are columnists I respect and quite often agree with. So when they - and many Comment is Free contributors - join the George Monbiots of this world in attacking the proposed third runway for Heathrow, I read them carefully.

Pipe down, price up

Tomas Valasek
06 January 2009
The Guardian
The Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute is turning from a bilateral spat into a regional crisis. EU countries that share a border with Ukraine have reported dramatic drops in the volume of gas deliveries.