How should the EU deal with Russia and the suppression of democracy in Belarus? An interview with Petras Auštrevičius, Lithuanian MEP of the “Renew Europe” Group and the European Parliament’s Standing Rapporteur on Belarus.
The E40 waterway project is a great idea from the geopolitical point of view. It connects three countries situated between Central Europe and Russia, and creates grounds for deeper regional cooperation. However, the economic and environmental sides of the project are not that great.
The goal of the project was to unfold and analyze the composition, causes and consequences of the shadow economies in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Sweden and Belarus and to draw policy recommendations for tackling the shadow economies in the respective countries.
Even under enormous pressure from Moscow, Belarus saw the crisis in Ukraine as a way to increase its geopolitical importance, improve its negotiating power in relations with Russia and to change its strained relations with the EU.
While EU and US sanctions against Russia over its aggression in Ukraine, and Russia’s counter-sanctions, are much discussed due to their evident political significance, less attention has been given to Russia’s punitive sanctions against the three Eastern European states–Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – that have signed with the EU Association Agreements (AA), which include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) provisions.
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