For a long time, Ukraine was positioned as an unfriendly state in the public space in Romania. The Ukrainian information space and political assessments reciprocated by generating a high level of suspicion, mistrust, and even hostility to the neighboring state. Recent years were marked by a kind of mutual rediscovery of the two countries.

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The U.K. leaving the European Union will be a real earthquake for the rest of the EU both politically and economically. No doubt that the referendum will strengthen the position of skeptics, and there is a risk that there will be similar initiatives in other EU countries. Thus, the EU will fight for its unity and renewal of faith the European idea.

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The situation in the conflict area in Eastern Ukraine has escalated; Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Herashchenko announced the highest number of dead and wounded in the last month. Military experts attribute this to the pressure on Ukraine to hold an election in the occupied area of Donbas and the situation around sanctions against Russia. However, currently, according to some of them, neither Ukraine nor Russia are interested in the conflict escalation, informs the news agency Radio Liberty.

Meanwhile, Co-director of Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes of the Razumkov Centre Oleksiy Melnyk believes that currently neither Ukraine nor Russia needs escalation of the confrontation.

“Europe without barriers” NGO created an agenda of events connected to the decision on visa waiver for Ukraine, and in some cases – for Georgia, Kosovo and Turkey.

The calendar shows the dates of planned meetings and sessions in EU institutions, actions, and other topic-related events.

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An extensive report of ECFR on the Eurasian integration initiatives and the EU response to it. A Chapter on Ukraine was written by Leonid Litra, Senior Research Fellow at the IWP.

In recent years Russia and China have both embarked on ambitious projects to integrate the Eurasian landmass. Russia has established the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in hopes of creating a Russian-dominated geopolitical bloc. In a very different approach, China has promoted the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR, or New Silk Road) initiative that aims to use Chinese financial power to physically and economically integrate Eurasia, with China at its core.

The discussion paper was written by Leonid Litra, Florent Parmentier, Cyrille Bret, and Anastasiya Shapochkina

The research was prepared within the IWP’s project “New European Policy: Filling the Awareness Gap”. This project is carried out within the National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms (UNITER) project, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Pact in Ukraine. The IWP also would like to thank the Black Sea Trust for regional cooperation – a project of the German Marshall Fund.

To download the publication, please, click here.

Maksym Bugriy, a research fellow of foreign relations and international security programmes at the Razumkov Centre, co-authored the article on the security sector reform in Ukraine.

Security sector reforms in Ukraine have a long track marked with some progress and shortcomings taking into consideration the internal and external circumstances. In general, one might distinguish specific phases along the way of development and reforms of the security and defense system not only due to temporal aspects, but rather due to specific approaches adopted by authorities towards strategic and institutional outline of armed forces, law enforcement agencies and security services.

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The discussion paper was written by Olena Betliy, research fellow at the Institute of World Policy, and Yauheni Preiherman, Chairman of Board of the Discussion and Analytical Society Liberal Club (Minsk)

This report was conducted within the project of the Institute of World Policy “Ukraine’s Foreign Policy Audit” with the support of the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation of German Marshall Fund of the USA and Pact Belarus, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Also IWP expresses its gratitude to the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), the Think Tank Fund (TTF) and the Embassy of Sweden (SIDA).

Co-director of Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes of the Razumkov Centre Oleksiy Melnyk spoke to the website Hlavred about the likelihood of the threat of Russia’s new attack and the start of large-scale battles in Donbas.

The threat of Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine has never disappeared. It was there from the very beginning of the war, even in the times of ceasefire. This is proved by the facts presented by representatives of the Defence Intelligence and the National Security and Defence Council – the concentration of forces near the Russian-Ukrainian border, the supply of ammunition, fuel and lubricants, and equipment to the occupied areas etc. All of this gives grounds to consider this threat as possible.

Jailed Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko was sent back to her homeland from Russia in a prisoner swap as diplomacy to end the separatist conflict on the two nations’ border gathers pace. After being pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin, she arrived by plane Wednesday afternoon in the capital, Kiev, greeted by her mother and her sister, as well as President Petro Poroshenko. In exchange, two Russian servicemen captured in Ukraine were flown to Moscow, the Bloomberg writes.