Atlantic Update 3/8/11


The West remains divided on Libya and the possiblity of a no-fly zone, Hungary amends its controversial media law, and delegates from Serbia and Kosovo meet in Brussels for the first time since 2008.


West divided on Libya ‘no-fly’ options (EurActiv)

Britain and France are seeking UN authority for a no-fly zone over Libya but Western allies still appear divided over both the wisdom of the idea and exactly how it would be implemented.

In Europe’s last dictatorship, all opposition is mercilessly crushed (The Independent)

The KGB headquarters in the centre of Minsk is known to locals as "Amerikanka". No one is really sure how the sprawling complex got its name, but everyone in Belarus knows it is not a place you want to end up. 

With its Corinthian columns and bright yellow walls, the building looks harmless from the outside. But it is in fact a cage for Europe’s last prisoners of conscience and the epicentre of a brutal crackdown carried out by the continent’s last dictator. 

Serbia, Kosovo ignore sovereignty question in EU talks (Deutsche Welle)

In a first-of-its-kind gathering, delegates from Serbia and Kosovo are meeting in Brussels for talks aimed at smoothing relations between the neighboring states three years after Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

U.S. Vice President Biden begins European tour, focuses on business (RIA Novosti)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has kicked off his European tour beginning with Finland before heading to Russia and Moldova later in the week, White House spokesman Tony Blinken said. 

Britain and France push for Libya no-fly zone (EUobserver)

Britain and France are drafting a UN Security Council resolution to authorise a no-fly zone over Libya, a move that would require military intervention in case the Gaddafi regime does not step down soon. Nato meanwhile has put its surveillance planes on 24-hour alert.

Hungary amends media law, defusing EU criticism (Reuters)

Hungary’s parliament on Monday amended a controversial media law to comply with the requirements of the European Union, which said the changes were satisfactory but implementation must be monitored.

‘Greece Is Clearly in Need of Debt Restructuring’ (Der Spiegel)

The international ratings agency Moody’s downgraded Greek debt to junk status on Monday, another reminder that the euro crisis isn’t over. German commentators on Tuesday say that the European Union must quickly find a way to free Athens from its mountain of debt.

Chechnya’s President Says Insurgency Dying Down (Voice of America)

In Russia’s Chechnya republic, which has long been a center of anti Kremlin violence in the Caucasus, Ramzan Kadyrov, the young president, now feels his capital is safe enough to invite 50 foreign correspondents for a news conference and an exhibition football match.


The SAS are men of action, not diplomacy (The Telegraph)

William Hague’s decision to send such soldiers on a peaceful mission was at best misguided, writes Con Coughlin.

Compiled with the assistance of Klee Aiken.

Image: transatlantic.jpg