Kremlin Targets Sleepy Corner of Europe with Hybrid TacticsNo part of Europe is too obscure for the Kremlin's machinations. On April 6 in Odessa, a group claiming to represent ethnic minorities in southwestern Ukraine founded the National Council of Bessarabia (NRB). Released on a Russian-registered website, the NRB's manifesto decrying "discrimination" and calling for greater autonomy was eerily similar to demands made in Donetsk and Luhansk before those regions sought independence last year.
On May 6, the same day European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled the plan in Brussels, top US and EU officials debated its objectives at a panel in Washington sponsored by the Atlantic Council’s Global Business & Economics Program.
David O’Sullivan, the EU’s Ambassador to the United States, said the 16-point proposal could pump $470 billion (€415 billion) a year into Europe’s generally stagnant economy while creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs from Amsterdam to Zagreb.
Kurdish leader says region will hold referendum after ISIS has been defeatedIraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will hold a referendum on Kurdish independence once Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) extremists have been defeated, KRG President Masoud Barzani said May 6 at the Atlantic Council.
Barzani couldn’t predict when an independent Kurdistan would be born, but added: “Certainly an independent Kurdistan is coming.”
The Kurdistan region has long sought independence from Iraq. Barzani said getting to that goal is a “continuing process.”
Controversial surveillance rules unlike the 'knee-jerk' US law passed after 9/11, says Atlantic Council’s DunganControversial surveillance rules passed May 5 by France’s lower house of Parliament are quite unlike the “knee-jerk” US Patriot Act that followed al-Qaeda’s terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, said Atlantic Council analyst Nicholas Dungan.
Dungan, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations Program, said the legislation essentially updates a law that has been untouched since the 1990s.
NATO’s top military commander says Russia set on ‘strategic competition’ with WestA "revanchist Russia" would use violence to alter international norms, boundaries, and institutions and poses a threat to the United States' transatlantic allies and partners, NATO's top military commander US Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove said April 30.
‘It is not important that Britain is not important,’ says Atlantic Council’s DunganIf one thing is nearly certain about Britain’s general elections May 7, it is that they will produce no clear victor and, as a result, could lead to another coalition government—or even a hung Parliament.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is leading his Conservative Party (the Tories) in a tough battle against the Labour Party’s Ed Miliband. Cameron’s coalition ally for the past five years, Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats (the LibDems), haven’t decided whether they want to stay in their political marriage of convenience with the Tories.
Meanwhile, third parties such as Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) and Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party (UKIP) have steadily eroded support for both the Tories and Labour. This is especially true for Labour, which is likely to lose a majority of its seats in Scotland—its traditional stronghold—to the SNP.
Indeed, over the past year the longstanding ban has emerged as one of the hottest issues in the debate on US energy policy.