Young participants from LDP.

Young participants from LDP.

Moldova is going through a difficult time. Corruption scandals have followed each other, forming a government has failed repeatedly since the parlamentary elections in November 2014, and nearly one billion dollar, fifteen percent of Moldova’s GDP, has disappeared from one of the country’s banks, questioning the role of the Moldovan political elite. (more…)

In this Bertelsmann Foundation publication, Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Anders Åslund argues that Western sanctions are having a significant impact on Russia’s economy.

Read the report here.

The BPF Party supported nomination of Tatsiana Karatkevich, who is a “Tell the Truth” campaign activist and Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada) member, as candidate for president in the 2015 presidential elections. She would like to run as candidate for president not from a single organization, but from the whole “People’s Referendum” coalition.
Next presidential elections must take place no later than on November 20, 2015.

Read more about the nomination in the article posted on the BPF’s website.

Moldova is the country among the former Soviet republics that has the most positive view of EU. Recently, a number of Moldovan youth, had the chance to take part in an essay competition on European integration, organized by Transparency International. The aim of the competition was to spread knowledge about EU among young people. At the moment, widespread corruption is the biggest threat to successful EU integration for Moldova, according to Pirkka Tapiola, Head of the EU Delegation to Moldova, who visited the contest.

Read more.

Anders Åslund writes about the war in Donbas and the costs it imposes on Ukraine. The economic and humanitarian situation in the Donbas is terrible. Ukraine cannot afford to pay large amounts of public expenses to a territory that it does not control and where it cannot collect taxes. Rebels have looted banks and ATM machines, Ukrainian citizens have to collect their pensions on territory controlled by the Ukrainian government.

Here’s Why Moscow Doesn’t Want the Donbas But Continues to Meddle There Anyway

BY ANDERS ÅSLUND

Leonid Gozman vid manifestation i Moskva

Leonid Gozman at a manifestation May 6, 2015

In an article published by Echo of Moscow on May 8, Leonid Gozman describes his impressions on the developments in Russian society. Read an English translation of the article here below. (more…)

In memory of Boris Nemtsov

March 1st, 2015   Russia
I have worked with many political leaders from the former Soviet Union, but Boris was in a class of his own. Charismatic and with a perfect command of English, he made his presence known whenever he entered the room.

On February 13-15, 2015, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged two conferences with the Moldovan government party, Partidul Liberal Democrat Din Moldova (PLDM) in the capital of Moldova, Chisinau. Target groups were women and youth from the party, and the theme of the conferences was campaign and communication.

If things go as planned, there will be local elections in Moldova in June, but at the moment a political crisis has struck the country. Neither a Prime Minister, nor a government has been appointed. In November 2014, there was parliamentary election in the country and the time to form a government is running out. In the beginning of March there has to be a new Prime Minister who could select a government, otherwise there will be re-election.

Participants of the women's conference.

Participants of the women’s conference.

The majority of the votes in the 2014 election went to the pro-European parties, PLDM, and the Democratic Party (PDM), who were in the previous coalition, but together they do not have enough seats in Parliament to form a majority government. In order to get their political reforms through, they depend on the Communist Party. Pro-Russian Socialist Party, which unlike the Communist Party, does not want to move closer to the EU, will then be the largest opposition party. (more…)

When the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, hosted a seminar on the development in Russia, held by famous Russian expert, Lilia Shevtsova, the hall was packed.

– I see Russia as a phenomenon. In that sense I agree with Putin, she started.

Lilia Shevtsova is one of the most prominent experts on Russia and its neighbors. She has written several books on Russian politics and she contributes regularly to foreign affairs debates. Last week, she visited Sweden to share her view on Putin, the occupation of Crimea and the Russian people’s attitude towards the worrying development.

The road to democracy has been more complicated and taken more time than we thought, Shevtsova introduced. Russia is struggling with both domestic and foreign policy problems. Traditionalism, nationalism and personalized leadership dominate together with imperial ambitions. (more…)

December 9, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk laid out one of the boldest and most impressive reform agendas that Ukraine has seen in its recent history. Yatsenyuk offered nearly everything a reformer could have asked for, and backed it up with a strong narrative to appeal Ukrainians. He presented Europe as the anchor, aim, and means of Ukraine’s reforms: “Our basic course is a European course…. Our final aim is Ukraine’s membership of the European Union. But to achieve that goal it is necessary to go through a serious test, to carry out radical changes and to make Ukraine European.”

Read the full commentary by Ander Åslund here