In a 60-minute interview in mid-January 2017, the U.S. president Donald TRAMP criticized the European Union as "basically a vehicle for Germany" claiming that it was a "very catastrophic mistake" on Angela Merkel’s part to admit a million refugees - whom he refers to as "illegals". Is it still the tension between the EU and US or it slowly comes on the normalization level?
From the EU point of view, the recent elections in France and Germany poses some new elements in the context of further settlement of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Holding its control over the internal political processes in both mentioned countries, Macron and Merkel will be forced to soften their positions towards Russia.
Ongoing dialogue on political and security matters among the European Union and the United States shows that big potential for further conflict between two strategic partners has been avoided. It opens opportunities for Ukraine who is seeking Transatlantic unity for stopping Russian military aggression and occupation of Crimea. But some challenges regarding possible devastating relations between Brussels and Washington still exist.
This is well known fact that Iran possesses significant volumes of the deposits of the natural gas and oil. After lifting serious restrictive measures imposed on Iran by the European Union and the US more than twenty years ago, now this country begins recovering and slowly winning its own place on the European oil and gas market. It brings some very concrete threats for Russian energy companies.
Hungary as a member-state of the European Union is still attempting to renew its relations with Russia at the expense of worsening cooperation with neighboring Ukraine. Official Budapest even openly ignores the commonly agreed position of Brussels regarding Russia’s behavior in Ukraine and temporarily occupied Crimea. It possesses some very serious threats from further Ukraine – Hungarian relations.
The first trip of the US President to Europe created mix feelings regarding the anticipation what a format would be for further development of the EU – US strategic relationships. However, despite anything, there is a fact that the US President is not very much involved and even not interested to be involving into the European affairs. At the same time, the expansion of the NATO at the expense of Montenegro has proved opposite thinking.
The ongoing internal processes in neighboring Moldova poses some very sensitive threats for the national security of Ukraine. Primarily, because the President of Moldova expresses its political wishes to enhance cooperation with Russia and simultaneously, diminish its cooperation with the European Union and NATO. It might cause to internal turbulences in Moldova as a reaction to deepening cooperation with Russia with unpredictable outcomes.
The outcomes of the recent Parliamentary elections conducted in Netherlands in March, 2017 have dispelled anticipations that the European Union is moving towards its sunset. Contrary, the results of the elections have clearly showed that the EU is still a political project, which is attractive for the Europeans. It also gives some grounds to believe that upcoming elections in France and Germany will consolidate these political trends.
The outcomes of the Presidential election in France, which is scheduled on 2017 promise to shake dramatically the whole political landscape in Europe. Ukraine is not the exception primarily because Paris plays leading role on the Normandy format of the settlement situation in Eastern Ukraine. Secondly, because Ukraine seeks to have a broader implementation of the Association agreement with the EU and France has its tools in order to enhance or to lower such activities.
The speech of the Minister for foreign affairs of Poland in the Parliament outlined the major priorities of the Poland’s foreign policy in 2017. Among those elements, supporting Ukraine remains one of the key priority for Warsaw, along with deepening bilateral relations with the Great Britain and France. The cooperation within the NATO and its further enlarging of the European Union are also the cornerstones in the European security system, minister believes.