Few Ukrainians realize how impressive their economic reforms were in 2015. The question today is whether that reform wave will continue, or has come to a halt.

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A key element of Ukraine’s anti-corruption agenda is at a crossroads—and whether it is implemented on August 31 will indicate Kyiv’s commitment to reform. In October 2014, a new law requiring Ukrainian public officials to file an electronic declaration disclosing all of their financial assets was passed by parliament. This e-declaration law mandates that officials disclose not only assets held in their own name, but also those held by family members, eliminating the possibility of officials hiding the fruits of corruption under the names of relatives.

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Samuel Johnson famously told his biographer James Boswell, “Clear your mind of cant.” In thinking about European security, we should do so, too.

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The leak this week of sensitive technical data on India’s French-designed Scorpene-class submarines has sent ripples across Asia. India and France have launched investigations and both have implied that the source of the leak was at the other end.

The leak was initially blamed on a “hack” and concerns were raised about whether this information would give China an advantage in any future regional confrontation. It has also set off a fresh round of handwringing in Australia over the government’s recent decision to acquire a variant of the submarine design, which represents the country’s largest ever defense project. All major parties involved, including the Indian and Australian governments as well as the French manufacturer, have downplayed the impact of the leak. But the incident has served to highlight the outsize role that a handful of European defense companies play in Asian security matters, and hints at future risks. 

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On July 7, 2014, Russian-backed separatists entered Donetsk and occupied four dormitories at Donetsk National University; armed gunmen expelled students from their rooms in the middle of the night. Nine days later, the separatists seized the entire university. During that summer, separatists stole at least seventeen university vehicles and converted student dorms into barracks for their fighters.

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Offshore natural gas discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean have created critical opportunities for cooperation among countries in the region, especially Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey.

Of these five countries, Cyprus and Israel have discovered more gas than either can consume over the next thirty years. Turkey and Jordan have no indigenous gas and need to import all of their needs, and while Egypt used to be a net gas exporter, it can no longer meet its own needs.

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When driving a car, it is essential to look forward to assess changing road conditions, new obstacles, and new opportunities. Prudent drivers—and investors—regularly check the rear view mirrors, but their main focus is on the future.

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The recent scandal surrounding alleged payments made to Paul Manafort by the former Ukrainian government has again cast a spotlight on corruption in Ukraine. Whatever one thinks of the Manafort story, no one can dispute that Ukrainians are entitled to an honest government that does not steal from them. But how can Ukraine achieve this goal? And what can the US do to help? 

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Colombia is at the brink of a historical moment. With the conclusion of peace negotiations in Havana on August 24, the country is on the verge of signing an accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Important steps must be taken before Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño, known as Timochenko, can officially sign the peace deal. Congress must call for the deal to be put to the Colombian people in a plebiscite. The FARC still needs to hold its tenth conference, a crucial meeting at which FARC members will likely ratify the accords. Nevertheless, August 24 marks the day Colombia took the leap to end more than sixty years of internal armed conflict. As a Colombian, I know what this means for my country.

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Turkish-backed Syrian rebels on August 24 seized an Islamic State stronghold in Syria. The military operation marks a significant escalation of Turkey’s role in the war against the Islamic State and comes days after the Turkish government vowed to “cleanse” its borders of the militants.

Aaron Stein and Faysal Itani, both senior resident fellows in the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, discussed latest developments in the region with the New Atlanticist’s Ashish Kumar Sen. Here are excerpts from our conversation.

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