Atlantic Update 2/9/11


NATO appoints a new Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan, and the EU responds to the situations in Egypt and Sudan.


‘Be Creative or We Will,’ Merkel Warns Blue Chips on Gender Equality (Spiegel Online)

German government and business leaders signed a non-binding commitment to make the workplace more family friendly on Tuesday. German editorialists agree that more flexible work hours are needed and that it is time to move beyond voluntary commitments to legal requirements.

Self-Confessed Spy Warns Of New Russian-Georgian War (Radio Free Europe)

 A former member of the pro-Georgian South Ossetian leadership has warned that the Georgian leadership needs to embark immediately on talks with Russia to avert a new conflict, RFE/RL’s Georgian Service reports. 

Wary of future turmoil, EU to send expert team to Sudan (EUobserver)

The EU is preparing to send a team of technical experts to Sudan in the coming weeks, with senior officials warning that Africa’s largest and soon to be divided state continues to pose the greatest risk to the continent’s security, despite recent competition from Egypt.

EU faces prospect of ‘black swan’ shutdown of Suez Canal (EurActiv)

The Egyptian crisis yesterday (8 February) entered a new and potentially critical phase as thousands of Suez Canal service workers began an indefinite strike two weeks after protests against the Mubarak regime began.

NATO Secretary General appoints new Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan (NATO)

The NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, announced today his decision to appoint Ambassador Simon Gass as the new Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) in Afghanistan, replacing Ambassador Mark Sedwill, who has served as SCR in Kabul since February 2010.

Munich Security Conference: Russia and West dialogue is going on (The Voice of Russia)

Interview with Evgeny Bazhanov, Vice-Chancellor of the diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Defense Ministry confirms Mistral construction in Russia (Ria Novosti)

Two Mistral class amphibious assault ships will be built in Russia in addition to the first two vessels purchased in France, a high-ranking source in the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti Wednesday.


Bringing Belarus Out of Its Darkness (Moscow Times)

As pro-democracy protests sweep the Arab world, Belarus, Europe’s grim quasi-Soviet redoubt, has taken a turn for the worse since President Alexander Lukashenko violently suppressed post-election demonstrations in December and imprisoned seven of the nine candidates who stood against him. But as Western governments — and those in the European Union, in particular — respond, they should view Lukashenko’s brutal crackdown as a major turning point: the moment when the regime could no longer claim popular support and was forced to confront the failure of its antediluvian socioeconomic model. 

Vladimir Putin’s strongman act is only fuelling a Caucasian jihad (The Guardian)

The Domodedovo bombing is more evidence Putin has turned a containable local insurgency into an escalating regional war

Compiled with the assistance of Klee Aiken and Elyse Newman.

Image: transatlantic.jpg