Nord Stream 2 future settled in Washington

For years, Kiev had perceived the internationalisation of its energy issues as the ultimate means to keep Ukrainian economic and national projects safely away from Moscow influence. Lately, all its efforts have been centered on preventing the construction, then the exploitation, of Nord Stream 2, the 1.200 km gas pipeline which, in a few months, will export Russian gas directly to Germany, circumventing Poland and Ukraine. Ukraine has felt over-confident that the strong Western backing should suffice to sink Gazprom chances and the Kremlin ambitions. In fact, doing so, successive Ukrainian presidents have turned their country into a pawn between Moscow, Washington, Brussels, and different EU members ‘states. At their risks and perils.

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The end of an epoch

By Nina Bachkatov

The stepping down of Grigori Yavlinsky as the head of a party he co-founded in 1993, provides fodder for a reflection on the deep transformation that the Russian political landscape has undergone since the early 1990s. On 3-4 July, Yabloko party has opened its pre-electoral Congress with a statement that the veteran liberal figure Yavlinsky will not run in the 17-19 September election for the lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma. It ended with a declaration by Yavlinsky that Yabloko chairman Nikolai Rybakov could be the only person to head the party to the elections. He explained that “everybody knows” that there cannot be elections in Russia anymore, after the amendments to the Constitution and the new elections laws. In the same time, he encouraged young people to engage in politics.

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