Foreign Policy Publications


Crimea, “bad” separatisms, and great powers’ politics: the grey zone awaits codification

Recent developments in Ukraine confused and shocked the public opinion. In the case of secessionist Transnistria, Russian involvement has undermined sovereignty of Moldova. Then, during Georgian war in 2008, one learned that conventional invasion is still possible in the modern world. In 2014, one see that Crimea not only declares independence but also decides to join the Russian Federation. This analysis aims to show that separatist movements have always been used instrumentally by major powers. Nevertheless, annexation of Crimea is a dangerous precedence which should be avoided in the future, preferably by codification of independence-related “grey zone”. The instrumental use of independence ambitions by Russia (or any other state) helps […]


Middle East: Opportunities for a Sunni-Shia rapprochement

Three years after the outbreak of the Arab Spring, events in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are continuing to surprise us with their scale and dynamism. One of these intriguing developments has been the increasing evidence of a thaw between Iran and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf. The signs of a potential warming of relations between the two countries are all the more astonishing considering that they are appearing at a time when Sunni-Shia confrontation has been at its most severe for decades. On the territory of war-torn Syria, this confrontation has taken on explicitly militant character. Download full policy paper as PDF


Finishing the Job: a “Europe Whole and Free”

Events in recent days have shown that despite the considerable advances of freedom and democracy, and even with the many safeguards of stability created in the decades since World War II, the European neighborhood can still be a very dangerous place. Before the Kremlin’s invasion of Crimea, the European Union, over-full from expansion and still bruised by the financial crisis, seemed to have lost its sense of direction and destiny. Likewise, an overstretched North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), weary from more than a decade of engagement in Afghanistan, seemed unsure of its mission and future.  With a single stroke, though, Vladimir Putin seems to have done what all the wise […]


Russian Character: How the West Should Respond in Ukraine

In a recent article (Putin’s War in Crimea Could Soon Spread to Eastern Ukraine, New Republic, March 1, 2014), Russian-American journalist Julia Ioffe suggests that Moscow’s invasion of Ukrainian Crimea was an action we should have anticipated, following Victor Yanukovich’s flight from Kyiv, because “Russia was, is, and will be an empire with an eternal appetite for expansion. And it will gather whatever spurious reasons it needs to insulate itself territorially from what it still perceives to be a large and growing NATO threat.”In predicting Russian actions, Ioffe adds, “Pessimism always wins.” I’m not a believer in the theory that Russia will always be the “evil empire” or that there […]


The presidential elections and the end of the ISAF: changes not only for Afghanistan

The year 2014 will be a turning point for Afghanistan. With the elections in April, the leadership of Hamid Karzai (in power since 2002) will come to an end. In December 2014, NATO troops will formally end the ISAF operation. These are events so significant that in their aftermath the reality of Afghanistan will be an issue of a totally different nature than today. President Hamid Karzai has maliciously been called “a Western puppet” by his opponents. Meanwhile, in recent months, he has changed his attitude to the western allies. H. Karzai has set tough conditions for signing a strategic pact with the United States. At the same time, he […]


The role of the new Member States in the developing of the EU’s Eastern agenda in the years 2004-2007 – perceptions of EU officials

Nr 1 September 2008. Author: Katarzyna Pisarska The report tries to assess the influence of EU’s new Member States from Central Europe on the European Union’s Eastern policy in the years 2004-2007. It is based on the results of a mixed method study conducted in 2007 and 2008 among 60 EU officials (both desk officers and national diplomats) dealing with Eastern policy issues either in the European Commission and the Council of the European Union. The report answers questions concerning the types of developments happening on the EU agenda in the years 2004-2007, the major factors provoking these changes, and the role of new Member States, including Poland, in the forming […]



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