The French Navy ship Mistral tied up at a downtown Saint Petersburg pier November 23. With the golden dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral shimmering in the background, the amphibious assault ship made a perfect sales promotion picture, which was precisely its mission. Some in Paris—led by the Elysée Palace—want to sell Mistral class ships to Russia, a venture with ominous geopolitical implications that would tear at the fabric of NATO.
Did Mikhail Gorbachev launch glasnost and perestroika in the mid-1980s with the aim of bringing about genuine democratic change in the Soviet Union? That's what he says in two interviews on both sides of the Atlantic -- Euronews' Maria Pineiro and Nation Editor Katrina vanden Heuvel -- to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.
In the 1970s, Henry Kissinger famously asked, "who do I call if I want to speak to Europe?" After more than three decades, he may finally get his answer. Last week, the European parliament began debating the powers and responsibilities of a new president of Europe, a position made possible by the recent decision of the Irish people to approve the European Union's Lisbon Treaty. The EU will also soon have a foreign minister. The establishment of a strong executive in Europe means the 27-member EU is poised to play an even more powerful role in world affairs.
The following is an interview with Atlantic Council Associate Director Patrick deGategno.