The foreign ministers of several EU members say that will consider taking prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay, provided that the United States can prove to a degree of absolute certainty that they are not dangerous. 

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The ITAR-TASS news agency reported that a Russian naval base will be constructed this year in the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia.  An Abkhaz official said that the base will not succeed Sevastopol (the Crimean port whose lease Kyiv does not intend to renew in 2017) as the new Black Sea Fleet headquarters.

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As the global financial crisis deepens, the strongest reactions thus far are coming from the emerging democracies in Don Rumsfeld's New Europe.  Phillip Pan writes on the front page of today's WaPo of a protest in Latvia's capital that turned into a riot

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Mark Mardell, BBC's Europe editor, noticed an American flag flying in his Brussels neighborhood recently and believes it may be a sign that anti-Americanism is waning on the Continent now that Bush is out and Obama is in.  But he wonders — as do I — "Will sentimental approval be accompanied by hard political deeds?"

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Last week, President Obama signed an order that would close the controversial prison facility at Guantanamo within a year.  Now, EU leaders are meeting to formally consider their previous offer to help.

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Last week, Moscow afforded us dour folk who concentrate on international security a real laugh-out-loud. On January 19 and again on January 21, the Russian Foreign Ministry demanded an inspection of Georgian military facilities under the Vienna 1999 document of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

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Iran has nearly depleted the stockpiles of uranium it imported in the 1970s, and its own uranium mines hold only small quantities of lower-grade ore, according to a recent news leak.  Western states have now launched a diplomatic push to urge all uranium-exporting countries not to sell to Tehran.

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While President Obama has sent some major signals in his first days in office that his foreign policy will differ from President Bush's, he sent one yesterday demonstrating continuity on a very key issue:  targeting al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan's tribal areas. 

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STOCK - Financial Crisis

A report in yesterday's NYT under the title "Once a Boon, Euro Now Burdens Some Nations" points out that the global financial crisis is creating ripples in the eurozone.

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5 Questions for Thomas Barnett

Thomas Barnett has answered five questions I posed to him about his new book, Great Powers: American and the World After Bush.  This is the final piece in my week-long series on Barnett for the New Atlanticist.

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