Again, there is reason to talk about Russia and EU-Russia relations. The EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell’s visit to Moscow has caused a great deal of furore. The vast majority of the MEPs have considered the visit a failure and its timing wrong. However, of course, there are also those who think that such visits must be made regardless of the timing adding that if anyone is to blame, it is still Russia that behaved inappropriately with its EU guest.

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Urmas Paet

However, one thing became very clear — Russia does not wish to improve relations with the EU. Moscow has…


The continuing spread of the coronavirus in Europe has led to a situation where there is no longer any point to talk about the free movement of people in the Schengen area. In essence, it has collapsed. This is a very unfortunate state of affairs.

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Photo by yousef alfuhigi on Unsplash

Last spring, when countries quickly began closing borders for travel without coordinating it with their neighbors, let alone coordinating it with other European countries, it was somehow understandable. Back then the situation was new and frightening. But now that this situation has been going on for a whole year, not much has changed for the…


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The Arctic is a unique region and is becoming more important in the international politics. The region is under high international attention as the Arctic itself is changing quite a lot, mostly due to climate change. However, with the attention, also the responsibility must come.

Keeping the region sustainable is a key challenge for all, who show their interest in operating in the high north. There needs to be a strong cooperation and coordination amongst the many actors. It is clear that with the increasing attention, also the policies involving the Arctic region must be up to date.

The Arctic…


The protests in Belarus are continuing for over 100 days now despite repressions by state authorities. Unfortunately, the list of human rights violations committed against the people of Belarus is also growing ever longer. The shocking death of Raman Bandarenka shows that the peaceful protestors are facing extreme danger each time they take to the streets to express their legitimate demands, the most important of which is still the holding of free and fair elections.

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Photo by Jana Shnipelson on Unsplash

Beyond the use of brute force there are also more petty measures, such as systematic destruction of murals, shrines and even smallest symbols that carry…


We’ve recently witnessed the end to six weeks of fighting and bloodshed in Nagorno-Karabakh. This period could be described by quickly moving events and lack of trustworthy sources. We saw how both sides, Armenia and Azerbaijan, were exchanging claims and counterclaims of territories won and lost, accusations of use of banned cluster munitions and foreign mercenaries and deliberate targeting of civilian areas. Repeated attempts at establishing a humanitarian ceasefire failed and calls to protect the civilian population went unheeded. Human tragedy was happening in front of our eyes and the international community seemed unable to stop it.

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However, the hostilities…


After a few days of drama and several embarrassing moments by the incumbent President Trump, it is now clear that the majority of US voters wish to see significant changes in the US foreign policy, as Joe Biden becomes the new US President.

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Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

The world has already met Biden as one of the US top leaders when in 2009–2017 he served alongside President Obama as Vice President. In any case, the US presidential election results will have a major impact on world politics, including on relations between Europe and the United States.

Biden’s victory suggests that US relations and attitudes…


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Photo by Ludde Lorentz on Unsplash

Selle Eesti ühiskonda lõhkuva nn referendumi peamine kahju on, et juba ainuüksi selle toimumine koos sinna juurde käiva labase retoorikaga paneb osa Eesti ühiskonna liikmetest otseselt olukorda, kus nad tunnevad, et see ühiskond neid ei soovi. Ja veel suurema osa ühiskonnast olukorda, kus on piinlik ja häbi selle pärast, mis meie 21. sajandi Eestis toimub.

Igatahes suurendab see totrus oluliselt ühiskonna stressi. Rääkimata sellest, et ühiskonna ees olevad tegelikud probleemid ja väljakutsed jäävad vajaliku tähelepanuta.

Seega ainus võimalus juba tehtud kahjuga piirduda oleks see vaenu külvav nn referendumiplaan lõpetada. Nüüd ja kohe.

Muidu me jäämegi eelolevatel kuudel iga päev kuulma…


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Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash

Less than a month remains until the US presidential elections, an event that will have a major impact on world politics for years to come, including on relations between Europe and the United States.

It is rather certain, that there will be changes in the US foreign and security policy, whichever candidate wins. This will also be the case if Trump wins, despite the fact that he has been the US President for years.

Now the question is, what will these changes mean for Europe?

Unfortunately, if we look at what has characterized EU-US relations during Trump’s presidency, it has…


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It is not acceptable to use violence and killings in international affairs, including between Armenia and Azerbaijan. You can try to force changes when you have power, but it is clear that such changes will not last. The only sustainable answer to the conflict can be a mutually agreed and mutually accepted solution. It means negotiations, it means talking to each other, and it means diplomacy.

Right now, the only result of the actions of the political leaders is the suffering of civilians, killings and people losing their homes. Violence begets violence. This will have long-lasting consequences.

Looking at…


Finally, the European Union leaders managed to agree on joint sanctions against Lukashenko’s henchmen. This very crucial and long awaited move also sends a signal of support to the Belarusian people and opposition who have been protesting on the streets for two months to show that they wish to have a democratic future. However, it was disappointing that Lukashenko himself, who is responsible for stealing the presidential elections from Belarusian people and for using violence to silence the protesters, was not on the initial list but was added later. This made the European Union seem weak.

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Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash

In the bigger picture…

Urmas Paet

Member of the European Parliament @RenewEurope & Vice-Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee, Estonian Foreign Minister 2005–2014 & Minister of Culture 2003–2005.

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