Editor’s Note: This article is a response to Stephen Blank’s essay, Putin’s Energy Strategy Is More Ambitious than You Think, which was published by the Atlantic Council’s UkraineAlert blog on January 4, 2019. 

Since arriving in Washington in the summer of 2017, I have grown somewhat baffled by the narrative about Hungary, especially within the Beltway. As Hungary’s ambassador to the United States, I receive a fair share of advice from all corners about how Hungary should conduct its foreign policy. One of the recurring themes is, to put it mildly, that Hungary is too friendly with Russia. When I inquire about why Hungary, a NATO and EU member, is perceived as a friend of Russia, I usually get puzzled looks, as if I were challenging  a paradigm. While I certainly see it as part of a wider narrative, I am curious as to what yardstick is being used to put Hungary in the “Russian basket.”

Read More

In his second State of the Union address on February 5, US President Donald J. Trump laid out his vision for the year ahead. But do you remember what he said about the rest of the world? Take our quiz to see if you were paying attention.

Read More

Iceland has no military, but a young Icelander is spearheading an important NATO mission in one of the world’s most dangerous war zones: Afghanistan.

Alfrun Perla Baldursdottir’s main task is improving the situation for women in a nation where gender inequality is so all-encompassing that “it’s like women are living in a totally different country than men,” she said.

The 26-year-old is also trying to empower young people—those under 25—who account for a whopping two-thirds of Afghanistan’s 37 million people.

Read More

US President Donald J. Trump made a bit of news in his State of the Union address on February 5 when he announced that he would meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam on February 27 and 28.

The choice of Vietnam is a significant one.

“Vietnam was chosen at least in part because it is a country that has friendly relations with North Korea,” said Alexander Vershbow, a distinguished fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a former US ambassador to South Korea.

Read More

The signing by NATO’s twenty-nine members and Skopje of an accession protocol that would make the future Republic of North Macedonia the Alliance’s thirtieth member represents “a victory for stability, security, and reconciliation in the Western Balkans,” according to Michael Carpenter, a nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center.

“Today the Western Balkans have turned a page,” said Carpenter. “Common sense and regional reconciliation have prevailed over divisions and discord.”

Read More

US President Donald J. Trump delivered his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington on February 5.

Atlantic Council analysts take a look at some of the foreign policy notes struck by the president and offer their analysis.* 

Read More

Macedonia’s entry into NATO can help revitalize the Alliance, the country’s foreign minister, Nikola Dimitrov, said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on February 5.

“NATO is a family that is about security, stability, predictability, and a better and more peaceful world,” Dimitrov said, adding that “for you on the inside it is probably easy to forget how cold it is on the outside.”

Read More

David O’Sullivan, the European Union’s ambassador to the United States, wraps up his time in Washington at the end of February. The last two years of his tenure have been challenging ones for the transatlantic relationship. That challenge mainly comes from US President Donald J. Trump who once described the EU as a “foe.”

In an interview with the New Atlanticist, O’Sullivan discusses the challenges in the relationship as well as areas for optimism. Here are excerpts from the interview.

Read More

US President Donald J. Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on February 5. US presidents often use State of the Unions to make their case for new legislative agendas and justify previous decisions.

While domestic issues such as immigration and a potential deal to avert another government shutdown will likely dominate the speech, foreign policy issues will also be addressed extensively, especially as Trump navigates new global crises and tries to position the United States in a new era of geopolitical competition. Here are the issue areas to watch as Trump addresses the nation:

Read More

The United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Spain are now among the countries that have officially recognized Juan Guaidó, the head of the National Assembly, as interim president of Venezuela. This follows Nicolás Maduro’s rejection of a European deadline to call fresh elections—Maduro responded by offering to call a parliamentary vote instead of a presidential one.

Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, brings us up to speed on the latest developments in South America’s oil-rich, crisis-riddled nation. Here are excerpts from our interview.

Read More