• Why Saakashvili's Appointment as Odesa's Governor Actually Makes Perfect Sense

    On May 30, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko named former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili Governor of the Odesa region. There are a number of ways to interpret the bold move, but two historical analogies may be more apt: Saakashvili is either following in Duke of Richelieu's footsteps as an outside Governor of Odesa or the late CIA Director Richard Helms' path. Ukrainian politics are murky, but in Saakashvili's case, the motivation behind his appointment looks like a mixed bag. Saakashvili has been simultaneously promoted and exiled.
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  • The Odesa Gambit

    Mikheil Saakashvili has a varied resume: former President of Georgia, Justice Minister, parliamentarian, senior statesman, and Ukrainian presidential adviser. On May 30, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko added another line to his CV. He named Saakaskvili regional Governor of Odesa, a vulnerable and strategic port city on the Black Sea. Despite having served in Georgia through a number of high-stakes crises, this new position may turn out to be Saakashvili's most challenging yet.
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  • Turkey Condemns Russia's Actions in Ukraine and Georgia

    Turkey on Tuesday said nothing can justify Russia's actions in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states, in a rare strong criticism of its increasingly close ally ahead of a NATO meeting.
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  • Melinda Haring

    Melinda Haring

    Editor, UkraineAlert

    melinda haring

    Expert Connect

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    Full Bio

    Melinda Haring is the editor of the UkraineAlert blog, which is the Atlantic Council’s most popular publication. Haring is a longtime observer of political developments in the Eurasia region, and her analysis has been featured in The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign PolicyNewsweek, Novoe VremyaThe American Interest, Kyiv Post, PRI, and broadcast and published by NPR, the BBC, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Voice of AmericaShe is the author of the report Reforming the Democracy Bureaucracy, coauthor of Ukraine’s Internally Displaced Persons Hold a Key to Peace (Atlantic Council, 2017), and a contributor to Does Democracy Matter? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)Haring has worked for Eurasia Foundation, Freedom House, and the National Democratic Institute, where she managed democracy assistance programs in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia. A graduate of Georgetown University, she holds an MA in Government with a certificate in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies. Haring is the vice chair of the board of East Europe Foundation in Kyiv, Ukraine, and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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  • EU Aspirants Face a Closed, if Not Locked, Door on Enlargement

    Aspirant EU members Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are poised to leave the upcoming EU Eastern Partnership Summit disappointed, though not empty-handed.

    An advance draft of the Eastern Partnership declaration, to be unveiled at the summit on May 21 to 22 in Riga, Latvia, underscores the European Union’s drift away from stronger engagement with its partners.

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  • Rearticulating NATO’s Strategy Toward Georgia

    Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remark that the NATO summit in Chicago in 2012 should be “the last summit that is not an enlargement [one]” raised expectations in Georgia that were already quite high.

    Georgia is seeking the elusive Membership Action Plan (MAP), which is NATO’s program of advice, assistance, and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the organization. 

    A commitment such as MAP would be a powerful statement about the tangible rewards that can come from a democratic transformation like that in Georgia. NATO needs to overcome its ambivalence about Georgia’s credentials for Euro-Atlantic aspirations and rearticulate its strategy to ensure the credibility of its promises. Russia, by seizing sovereign Ukrainian territory, has already done much damage to Euro-Atlantic security.

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  • NATO Hopes to Open Training Center in Georgia in 2015

    From Retuers:  NATO said on Friday it hoped to open a training centre in Georgia by the end of the year, signalling a strengthening of its relationship with the former Soviet republic that is likely to antagonise Russia.
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  • Transit through Georgia – Potential for US Foreign Policy Success

    Georgia plays a growing, though little-known, role in the global economy. Strategically linked with Azerbaijan, it serves as a key element in the transportation network that connects landlocked, but resource-rich areas of Central Asia to world markets via its Black Sea ports and Turkey. Over one million barrels of oil and oil products cross Georgian territory daily using pipelines, the railways, and ports. For a decade, Georgian ports have also served as entry points for commercial and military cargo destined for Central Asia and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan and Georgia are expected to play a greater role in container transit between Asia and Europe in the years to come. A close ally of the US and NATO that has made significant troop contributions to Afghanistan, Georgia needs greater support for its security from the US as well as from multiple actors interested in Georgia’s growing transit potential.   

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  • Russia Could Soon Run Multiple Ukraine-Sized Operations: US General

    Russia is working to develop within a few years the capability to threaten several neighbors at once on the scale of its present operation in Ukraine, a senior American general said.
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  • Online Security Experts Link More Cyber Attacks to Russian Government

    From Nicole Perlroth, New York Times:  For the second time in four months, researchers at a computer security company are connecting the Russian government to electronic espionage efforts around the world.
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