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Sailing through the storm

06 February 2023
As the conflict in Ukraine continues to unfold, Türkiye is trying to perform a delicate balancing act. This Brief explores how Türkiye seeks to maintain equidistance from Russia and the West to assert its strategic autonomy while exploiting Russia’s current weakness to project influence in the Black Sea region and beyond.

Sanctions, conflict and democratic backsliding

01 June 2022
This Brief presents an overview of EU sanctions policy, the rationales guiding their imposition and the expected impacts, focusing on the two types of situations in which the EU usually applies its measures: violent conflict and democratic backsliding.

Securing the heavens

15 April 2021
This Brief outlines the major space threats and makes concrete suggestions on how space can support the EU's Strategic Compass.

In Russia's hands

08 April 2021
This Brief analyses to what extent the Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement of November 2020 has created the basis for a lasting settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh. The deployment of Russian troops in the region may lead to a new ‘freezing’ of the conflict resolution process, instead of politically resolving the conflict itself.

Appeasement and autonomy

01 February 2021
This Brief explores Armenia’s Russia policy after the 2018 Velvet Revolution in the light of the country’s defeat in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, resulting in a larger regional role for Turkey, which has exacerbated Armenia’s security dilemma.

The EU’s chemical weapons sanctions regime

31 July 2020
Concerns about the ero­sion of the ‘taboo’ on chemical weapons use have deepened in recent years, in particular following the chemical weapons attacks that have taken place in the Syrian conflict. The sanctions regime against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons which the EU adopted in October 2018 constitutes the Union’s first coercive instrument against chemical weapons, and is an attempt by the EU to support the multilateral chemical disarmament regime after efforts to frame a response via the United Nations Security Council failed.

The Butterfly Effect: why does Eastern Europe matter to Japan?

27 May 2020
In recent years Japan has sought to rekindle diplomatic, political and economic ties with Eastern Europe. This Brief examines how Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 may have motivated this charm offensive, prompted by Tokyo’s fears that such aggression could potentially be replicated in the Far East, as well as by concerns about transfers of military technology from Eastern Europe to China and the weakening of the global non-proliferation regime. It shows how Japan’s foreign policy goals in the eastern neighbourhood overlap with those of the EU, and highlights the potential for strengthening synergies between them.

A blacklist is (almost) born

17 March 2020
In the sanctions practice of the EU, human rights motivations feature prominently, reflecting their centrality to the Union’s foreign policy. This Brief discusses plans to create a new EU sanctions regime addressing gross human rights violations. It examines the various challenges surrounding the initiative and its implementation, and argues that the way forward could be to disaggregate the proposed sanctions regimes into two separate strands: one dealing with breaches of international humanitarian law and a second addressing human rights abuses linked to large-scale transnational corruption.