Michael Carpenter

  • Political Gridlock in Moldova

    Almost four months after parliamentary elections it is still unclear who will govern Moldova, a small Eastern European country and former Soviet republic. Disputes over a coalition government mean that there are now competing claims of legitimacy that have caused political gridlock.

    Although representatives from the pro-Russia Socialist Party and the pro-European Union ACUM bloc reached an agreement on June 8 to form a coalition government, the deal was challenged by the Democratic Party, which argued to the Constitutional Court that it was formalized after the official deadline, meaning snap elections needed to be called.


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  • A Close Call: US and Russian Ships Avoid Collision

    The near collision of US and Russian warships in the Philippine Sea on June 7 is just the latest close call between the two nations’ militaries that have increasingly found themselves in tense encounters around the globe. While a crisis was averted, the next time may be different.

    Barry Pavel, senior vice president, Arnold Kanter chair and director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council, said with close calls like the one on June 7 “the risks of escalation are very significant.”


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  • How to Push Back Against Kremlin’s Malign Influence

    Atlantic Council’s Michael Carpenter tells lawmakers the United States needs to do more

    The United States needs to do more to push back against Russia’s attempts to disrupt democratic societies around the world, Michael Carpenter, a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, told US lawmakers on May 21.

    “Today, Russia is doubling down on malign influence operations across Europe and North America, but we remain unprepared, underfunded, and often ignorant of the threat,” Carpenter told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment. He testified in a hearing on “Undermining Democracy: Kremlin Tools of Malign Political Influence.”


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  • Coherent US Strategy Seen Key to Effective Sanctions

    As Washington looks to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, support for Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and interference in the 2016 US elections, economic sanctions can be a useful tool, but they must fit into a coherent US strategy in order to be effective, Atlantic Council experts told US lawmakers on May 15.

    “Sanctions can be a useful, precise, and effective tool of US foreign policy, so long as they are treated as a tool to implement a clear policy and a thought-out strategy,” David Mortlock, a nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center explained.


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  • Putin’s Ability to Stash Money in US Banks and Real Estate is a ‘Strategic Danger,’ Warns US Sen. Whitehouse

    In his new book, Atlantic Council’s Anders Åslund says the United States Should Demand Transparency

    The ability for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his oligarch allies to hide money in banks and real estate in the United States is “a real strategic danger,” US Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) warned on May 7.

    The senator lamented the fact that the United States is “now number two in terms of the nations that support secret financing and funding and allow for the hiding of assets behind shell corporations. We should not be on that list at all, much less number two.”


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  • Q&A: Will Scandal Sink Poroshenko’s Second Term Chances?

    On February 25, investigative journalistsaccused President Petro Poroshenko’s close associates of getting rich by smuggling spare parts for military equipment from Russia. The Bihus.Info report claims that the son of Oleh Hladkovskiy, deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, was the mastermind behind a scheme to buy spare parts from Russia in 2015. The year before, Russia annexed Crimea and occupies part of the Donbas. Bihus.Info alleges that Ukraine bought the goods from private companies linked to Hladkovskiy at inflated prices and that Ukroboronprom, the state company that oversees everything, knew the origin of the parts.             

    Bihus.Info says that it received the information from anonymous

    ...

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  • Macedonia Signs NATO Accession Protocol: ‘We Will Never Walk Alone Again’

    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.”


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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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  • Greek Parliament Approves Macedonia Name Change Deal

    Greece’s parliament narrowly approved a deal on January 25 that would see its northern neighbor change its name to North Macedonia and Athens lift its opposition to Macedonian accession to NATO and the European Union. The deal passed in a 153-to-146 vote.

    The deal—known as the Prespa Agreement—was reached between Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on June 17, 2018. The Macedonian parliament approved the necessary changes to the constitution on January 11.


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  • Macedonian Parliament Endorses Name Change

    Macedonian lawmakers on January 11 approved a set of constitutional amendments that will see the name of the country changed to the Republic of North Macedonia, potentially opening the way for the Balkan country to join NATO and the European Union.

    “Today, the people of Macedonia secured their future and assured their place in the heart of Europe,” Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson said. “No longer will their nation be on the transatlantic alliance’s periphery, stuck in a geopolitical limbo. With an historic parliamentary vote approving constitutional amendments to fulfill the obligations within the Prespa Agreement with Greece, Macedonians have determined their own destiny.”


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