Recognising Transdnestr - A way to defrost a frozen conflict?

Frozen conflicts have traditionally been very difficult to thaw - despite the best efforts of mediators and negotiators. The Transdnestr region of Moldova, a 60 minute drive from where I live, and a place I have traveled through many times, is no exception.  After 20 years the conflict with Moldova remains as frozen now as […]

Biometric Passports and ID Cards - Ukraine

Having finally got around to the core issue of Stage 1 relating to the road map on Visa-free travel as per the document from the EU, the RADA has passed the necessary laws for biometric passports and identified the company that will produce them. Just how technically good the new law is remains to be […]

Nobel Peace Prize - The EU and accepting awards on behalf of others


Not really anything to do with Ukraine, other than the EU currently being its stated eventual destination, and being something of a headlining story in the main stream media, normally it is a subject I wouldn’t touch - simply because it is headlining in the main stream mdeia. However, Nobel Peace Prize justified? On balance, […]

After the elections - Is what happens to Ukraine that important to its neighbours?


Naturally there is a lot of interest in the forthcoming elections in Ukraine - particularly so by its immediate neighbours.  To be frank, there always has been since independence was dumped in the lap of Ukraine. In fact the degree of meddling, both overtly, covertly, cleverly, clumsily, diplomatically and politically, either through direct channels or […]

A strategy for defeat - United Opposition

UP Ukr

I have had several messages recently asking me why, in my opinion, the United Opposition electioneering strategy is as dire as I have stated it is. Fair point - Despite stating numerous times that it is sadly dismal/dire/ineffective (take your pick I have used all those words and more) I have not really explained in […]

Failing to wait for the fat lady to sing? Ukrainian elections

fat lady sings

There have been some rather presumptuous remarks about the Ukrainian elections by people who should probably know better. Firstly, the ICES observers have already stated that thus far, the Ukrainian election campaigns have been acceptable and generally meet the standards necessary - whilst at the same time stating those in Georgia have already failed to […]

Changing the rules of engagement - Ukraine amends laws on military

Tempted as I am to join the throng raising legitimate concern over the proposed criminalisation of libel in Ukraine - something that should never be a criminal offence, and with quality journalism simply wouldn’t happen anyway, I won’t - yet! Concerned as I am over the new law that entered into force yesterday over the […]

Turning around demographics - “Challenging”

“Challenging” - That I suspect would be the diplomatic word used by those nations who are facing a demographic slump, and there are many across the continent of Europe over the rest of this century and beyond. Here is a handy little graph from the Wall Street Journal as lifted from the UN.  Tick box […]

More embarrassment? Barroso, Moldova and Ukraine


Only a few days ago I wrote this and suggested that the national embarrassment of coming in second behind Moldova, a nation that is the butt of all Ukrainian jokes when it comes to stupidity, may be a useful lever in EU/Ukrainian relations. It seems other may also think it not a bad idea either. […]

9th Yalta Annual Meeting (YES)


Well the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting as sponsored by one of Ukraine’s most famous Oligarchy, Viktor Pinchuk, son-in-law of ex-President Kuchma, has begun. Amongst those attending are EU Commissioner Stefan Fule, Swedish FM Carl Bildt, Condi Rice ex US Secretary of State, Gordon Brown ex-Prime Minister of the UK, Newt Gingrich and William Daley and […]