Paris’s ambition is to take over from Germany as Moscow’s top political partner in Europe. The first step consists in taking the lead in the so-called Normandy format. What seems to foster this move is the election of a new president of Ukraine.
Act 447 is addressed to the U.S. government and serves as a legal basis for the Secretary of State to submit a report on the legislation of countries where there has emerged a problem of unlawful seizure of assets from Holocaust survivors. As for Central and Eastern European countries, this stems from widespread Communist-era nationalization that affected entire societies, and not only those who survived the Holocaust. A document that shall determine the legal scope of restitution while being as a point for reference for the U.S. Secretary of State is the 2009 Terezin Declaration, a document calling for taking appropriate actions regarding the return of unlawfully seized assets, including heirless property.
Another round of talks on Nagorno-Karabakh was held in June in Washington, bringing together the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to discuss peaceful solutions to the thirty-year-long armed conflict in the region. Although June saw a relatively quiet situation on the front line, soldiers still die in sporadic battles fought on both sides. But is U.S. diplomacy likely to help establish peace in the Caucasus?
The United States officially pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. While announcing Washington’s ultimate decision, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Moscow of having violated the deal. Naturally, Moscow claims the United States is to be blamed for the end of the landmark agreement, a statement that was followed by Russia’s formal exit.
Ukraine’s recent elections have yet again brought up the issue of settling conflicts in the eastern part of the country. But is Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s new president who had won a sweeping victory in both presidential and parliamentary races, capable of bringing peace in the midst of the ongoing dispute? Will he step up to Russian efforts aimed at maintaining the region within its sphere of influence?