Atlantic Update 2/18/11


Germany offers Portugal financial support for an impending bailout, and German Defense Minister zu Guttenberg responds to plagiarism charges.


Russia needs fair polls to back reforms: Kudrin (Reuters)

Russia must hold fair elections to ensure that sweeping reforms are undertaken to avert political and economic stagnation, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Friday. 

Portugal one step closer to requesting EU bailout (EurActiv)

Germany has said it will help finance a Portuguese bailout as consensus builds that Portugal will be the third eurozone country to seek a loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Defense minister relinquishes Ph.D. over plagiarism charges (Deutsche Welle)

German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has temporarily relinquished his Ph.D. in response to severe allegations of plagiarism in his dissertation. Opposition parties are calling for his resignation.

Trade pact is ‘win-win’ for S. Korea, EU: envoy (AFP)

A sweeping free trade agreement between South Korea and the European Union is a "win-win" deal for both parties, an EU diplomat said Friday after Europe’s parliament approved the deal.


Choosing Between Arms and Allies (Imants Liegis, The Moscow Times)

It should surprise no one that many in Latvia view the sale by France of fully equipped assault warships to Russia with grave concern. Other European Union member states seem to be looking increasingly toward Russia as a potential purchaser of military equipment. But is it wise for EU and NATO members to enhance the capacity of non-allies to project their military power? After all, only 2 1/2 years ago, Russia invaded Georgia, a country that NATO had named as a potential future member, and has occupied part of it ever since.

A War Built on Four Lies: Why Germany Must End its Deployment in Afghanistan (Jürgen Todenhöfer, Der Spiegel)

The war in Afghanistan is based on four lies, including the premise that NATO allies are there to fight international terrorism, writes conservative ex-parliamentarian Jürgen Todenhöfer. It’s time to end Germany’s military engagement, he argues, and negotiating with the Taliban is the only solution.

Thug Life (White Mason and Bronwyn Healy-Aarons, Foreign Policy)

Think Mubarak was bad? Kosovo’s leaders are accused of being organ-smuggling, drug-dealing goons — and the United States is looking the other way.

Image: transatlantic.jpg