David Wemer

  • The Three Seas Initiative Explained

    On February 11, US ambassadors from twelve EU member states met in Warsaw to discuss the ways in which the United States can help the Three Seas Initiative, a project that seeks to facilitate interconnectivity on energy, infrastructure, and digitalization projects in Central and Eastern Europe. The meeting, led by the Atlantic Council and its Executive Chairman Emeritus retired Gen. James L. Jones, Jr., comes on the heels of US Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s visit to the Three Seas Initiative summit in Bucharest in September 2018, and a little over a year after US President Donald J. Trump endorsed the project while taking part in a 2017 summit in Warsaw.


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  • Name Deal with Greece Gives Macedonia a ‘Second Chance’

    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.”


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  • Exit Interview: EU’s Envoy to Washington on Navigating Challenges in the Transatlantic Relationship

    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.


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  • As Trump Addresses the Nation, What Will He Say About the World?

    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:


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  • United States Suspends INF Treaty With Russia

    Decision could spark "unpredictable and unconstrained US-Russian arms race," Atlantic Council's Alexander Vershbow says.

    The US decision to suspend participation in a decades-old nuclear arms control treaty with Russia has raised the probability of a US-Russian arms race, according to Alexander Vershbow, a distinguished fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a former US ambassador to Russia.

    “Although the US withdrawal will not take effect for another six months, today marks the effective end of the INF Treaty, the only nuclear arms agreement to ban an entire class of missiles,” Vershbow said. “The loss of the treaty creates a real possibility of an unpredictable and unconstrained US-Russian arms race in Europe and, potentially, in Northeast Asia as well.”


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  • Belarus' Balancing Act

    Belarus is attempting a delicate diplomatic dance as it attempts to thaw its relationship with the West while preserving its longstanding relationship with Russia.

    “We want the best possible relationship with Russia and a normalized relationship with the West,” Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Kravchenko said at the Atlantic Council on January 30, lamenting the growing tensions between Russia and the United States and its European allies.


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  • A New Way Forward for Brexit?

    The UK Parliament on January 29 endorsed a provision that would empower British Prime Minister Theresa May to renegotiate her Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union in order to come up with “alternative arrangements” that could break the gridlock over the way the UK leaves the EU.

    The vote on the “Brady Amendment” was seen as a victory for May who dramatically shifted her support from her own withdrawal deal toward renegotiation in order to achieve some consensus within her Conservative Party for a passable deal.


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  • The United States is Stronger With Allies, Says Atlantic Council’s Damon Wilson

    Amid intense partisan polarization and high-profile disagreements between Washington and its allies, Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council, on January 29 made the case for the United States to preserve its alliances. “US interests are best served when Washington and its allies act in unison,” Wilson told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington in a hearing on China and Russia.

    As growing aggression from Russia and China becomes “the main geopolitical challenge of the 21st century,” Wilson said, “the United States is much better positioned if it does not assume the burden of countering Beijing and Moscow alone.”


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  • Huawei Charges Escalate US-China Feud

    The charges announced by the US Department of Justice against Chinese telecom giant Huawei, “stand on their merits” but are “difficult to view. . . in isolation” from the Trump administration’s strategy to get Beijing to undertake meaningful economic reform, according to Robert A. Manning, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

    The US Justice Department detailed thirteen charges against Huawei, its affiliated firms, and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on January 28. Meng has been in Canada since being detained on December 1 at the request of the United States for allegedly violating US sanctions

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  • A 'Monumental Day for the Western Balkans'

    On January 25, the Greek parliament approved a deal that will see its neighbor, Macedonia, renamed to the “Republic of North Macedonia”—a move that ends a twenty-seven-year dispute between the two Southeastern European countries.

    The deal—known as the Prespa Agreement—was reached between Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in June 2018. The Macedonian parliament approved the deal on January 11. The agreement paves the way for the newly-minted North Macedonia to join NATO and potentially the European Union.


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